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Implications of a congenitally abnormal valve: a study of 1025 consecutively excised aortic valves
  1. Michael J. Collins (mcoll008{at}
  1. Department of Pathology, Toronto General Hospital, Canada
    1. Jagdish Butany (jagdish.butany{at}
    1. Department of Pathology, Toronto General Hospital, Canada
      1. Michael A. Borger
      1. Department of Cardiac Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Canada
        1. Bardley H. Strauss
        1. Department of Cardiology, St. Michael’s Hospita, Canada
          1. Tirone E. David
          1. Department of Cardiac Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Canada


            Aims: An increasing proportion of patients present for aortic valve (AV) replacement with congenitally abnormal AVs. We present a review of morphological changes in a large contemporary patient population undergoing AV replacement. Methods: A detailed review was conducted for all 1025 patients who underwent AV replacement from 2002-2005, including the clinical indication for surgery, the type of native AV disease, the pathological changes observed in each valve and the need for related surgery. Results: Tricuspid (TAV), bicuspid (BAV) and unicuspid (UAV) aortic valves were observed in 64.5%, 31.9% and 3.0% of all patients respectively. A decreased number of cusps was associated with increasing predilection for male gender (83.9%, 73.4% vs. 59.2% for UAV, BAV vs. TAV respectively), a younger patient age at surgery (41.6± 14.3, 61.3± 12.8 vs. 67.5± 12.9 yrs), and an increased occurrence of pathological changes in the cusps, including calcification of both the cusp and the base, ossification and ulceration (p<0.05 for all). UAV and BAV were also associated with increasing replacement of the ascending aorta due to dilation and aneurysm formation (54.8, 38.8% vs. 16.6%). The incidence of infective endocarditis and rheumatic heart disease was 3.8% and 11.2% of all excised valves respectively. Conclusion: We show that UAV and BAV were increasingly likely to affect males, fail at an earlier age, show an increasing incidence of pathological changes in the cusps and ascending aorta than TAV. These results suggest that TAV, BAV and UAV may represent a phenotypic continuum of a similar disease process.

            • Aortic valve disease
            • ascending aortic pathology
            • bicuspid aortic valve
            • unicommisural aortic valve

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