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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery 1/2018

Correlation of structural defects in the ascending aortic wall to ultrasound parameters: benefits for decision-making process in aortic valve surgery

Journal of Cardiothoracic Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2018
Saša D. Borović, Milica M. Labudović Borović, Ivan V. Zaletel, Vera N. Todorović, Petar A. Dabić, Jelena T. Rakočević, Jelena M. Marinković-Erić, Predrag S. Milojević



Histopathological changes in the ascending aorta wall in patients with severe tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) stenosis were graded and correlated to echocardiographic parameters. Objective was to associate threshold echocardiographic values with structural defects in the ascending aorta providing a tool to improve decision-making process in cases when simultaneous aortic valve replacement (AVR) and ascending aorta replacement is considered.


Biopsies from 108 TAV stenosis patients subjected to AVR were graded into three grades according to severity of aortic wall changes. Echocardiographic parameters obtained preoperatively and correlated to grade, age, gender and risk factors, were diameters of ventriculo-aortic junction (AA), sinus Valsalva (SV), sinotubular junction (STJ), the largest diameter of the visualized ascending aorta (AscA) as well as indexes: sinus Valsalva (SVI), sinotubular junction (STJI), AscA/AA and STJ/AA.


Two echocardiographic parameters portrayed grades with statistical significance: STJ (F = 5.417; p = 0.006 (p < 0.05)) and AscA (F = 3.924; p = 0.023 (p < 0.05)). By using multiple predictors in the setting of Regression analysis, statistically significant differences among grades were reached for AA, SV, STJ, AscA and SVI. With further ROC curves analysis, threshold values for different grades were recognized. Grade 2 is identified in patients with AscA > 3.3 cm, while Grade 3 is identified in patients with values of AscA > 3.5 cm, STJ > 2.9 cm and STJI > 1.


Hemodynamic stress induced by TAV stenosis leads to elastic lamellae disruption in the aortic wall. Those changes could be graded and correlated with echocardiographic parameters of the aortic root and ascending aorta, providing a tool for decision to replace ascending aorta concomitantly with AVR.
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