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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Flow dependence of valve area in aortic stenosis: relation to valve morphology.

OBJECTIVES: We sought to develop an index of flow dependence of valve area in aortic valve (AoV) stenosis and to determine whether this index is related to structural characteristics of the diseased valve. BACKGROUND: Many studies of AoV stenosis using Gorlin or continuity equation methods have demonstrated flow dependence (an increase in valve area with increased flow). Variation in flow dependence between patients despite similar flow rates remains unexplained. METHODS: Dobutamine Doppler echocardiography was used to calculate flow rate and valve area by the continuity equation in 27 patients with aortic stenosis. For each patient the slope of the regression line of valve area to flow rate was determined (slope of flow dependence). Transesophageal echocardiography was used to evaluate features of valve morphology potentially related to the etiology of AoV stenosis and the mechanism of flow dependence. RESULTS: Mean slope of flow dependence was 0.28 cm2/100 ml per s (range -0.06 to 0.53); flow dependence was significantly >0 in 21 patients and was lower for bicuspid valves (slope 0.21 cm2/100 ml per s) than for tricuspid valves with <10% commissural fusion (slope 0.35, p < 0.01). Off-center/ovoid orifices demonstrated the least flow dependence (slope 0.19), whereas star-shaped orifices showed the most (slope 0.36, p < 0.01). Greater flow dependence was related to a lower percentage of commissural fusion (r = -0.46, p = 0.02) as well as diffuse sclerosis, primarily involving the cusp bodies, rather than localized sclerosis, with involvement of cusp margins. CONCLUSIONS: The slope of flow dependence of valve area in AoV stenosis differs markedly between patients. More flow dependence was associated with tricuspid valves and the morphologic features characteristic of calcific AoV stenosis, whereas less flow dependence was associated with bicuspid valves and the features of rheumatic disease.[1]


  1. Flow dependence of valve area in aortic stenosis: relation to valve morphology. Shively, B.K., Charlton, G.A., Crawford, M.H., Chaney, R.K. J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
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