The bicuspid aortic valve and its relation to aortic dilation

Shi Min Yuan*, Hua Jing, Jacob Lavee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: A bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is a common congenital heart disease, which affects 1-2% of the population. However, the relationship between BAVs and aortic dilation has not been sufficiently elucidated. METHODS: A total of 241 BAV patients who were referred to this hospital for cardiac surgey over a 4.75-year period were in-cluded in this study. In addition to the clinical characteristics of the included patients, the morphological features of the aortic valve and aorta, the length of the left main coronary artery, and the laboratory findings (the coagulation and hematological parameters as well as the total cholesterol concentration) were determined and compared with those of the tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) patients. RESULTS: The BAV patients were younger than the TAV patients for a valve surgery in the last 3 months of the study period. The BAV patients were predominantly male. Most of the BAVs that were surgically treated were stenotic, regurgitant, or combined, and only 19 (7.88%) were normally functioning valves. According to echocardiography or operative records, 148 (78.31%) were type A, 31 (16.40%) were type B, and 10 (5.29%) were type C. The left main coronary artery was much shorter in the BAV patients than it was in the TAV patients. There was no significant difference between BAV and TAV patients in the total cholesterol concentra-tions; whereas differences were noted between patients receiving lipid-lowering therapy and those not receiving lipid-lowering therapy. The dimensions of the aortic root, sinotubular junction, and ascending aorta were beyond normal limits, while they were significantly smaller in the BAV patients than in the TAV patients. They were also much smaller in patients receiving statin therapy than those not receiving statin therapy in both groups. Moreover, the aortic dilation in the BAV group was found to be significantly associated with patient age. CONCLUSIONS: The BAV patients developed aortic wall and aortic valve disorders at a younger age than the TAV patients and were predominantly male. Aortic dilation was observed in the aortic root, sinotubular junction, and ascending aortic segments in both the BAV and TAV patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement, although the BAV patients had a smaller degree of dilation than the TAV patients, and dilation was also significantly age-related in this group. The shorter left main coronary artery that the BAV patients possess may contribute to the progressive course of aortic dilation that these patients experience. Statin therapy did not affect the aortic annulus in either group, but did decrease the dimensions of the aortic root, sinotubular junction and ascend-ing aorta. In general, statin therapy had a better effect on the aortas of the TAV patients than it did on those of the BAV patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-505
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic dilation
  • Aortic valve disorder
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Cholesterol
  • Left main coronary artery


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