Regional Vascular Changes and Aortic Dilatation in Pediatric Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Mechanistic Interrogation of Bicuspid Aortic Valve associated Aortopathy (MIBAVA) Leducq Consortium

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Background: Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the most common congenital heart disease, often associated with valve dysfunction, coarctation of the aorta, and ascending aorta dilatation. Aortic dilatation might result from abnormal regional hemodynamics or inherent vascular disease. Vascular function in pediatric BAV remains poorly characterized. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed to evaluate vascular function in 142 children with BAV aged 7-18 years compared with healthy control children. Echocardiography was performed to assess aortic dimensions, BAV function, and vascular function (aortic arch pulse wave velocity [PWV]), carotid intima media thickness, and aortic stiffness and distensibility). Carotid-femoral and carotid-radial PWV were assessed using tonometry. Vascular function was compared for 4 patient groups stratified according to aortic dilatation and a history of coarctation of the aorta. Multivariate regression analysis was performed to determine predictors of aortic dilatation. Results: Children with BAV had stiffer and less distensible ascending aortas with higher aortic arch PWV compared with control children. Carotid-femoral and carotid-radial PWV were not increased in patients with BAV, and the vascular assessment of the abdominal aorta was unremarkable. Multivariate regression revealed that aortic arch PWV was the only vascular function parameter that was associated with aortic dilatation. Conclusions: Children with BAV have differences in vascular function that are confined to their proximal aorta, even in normal functioning BAV. The observed differences in vascular function are likely multifactorial, with contributions from abnormal regional flow and a potential localized primary aortopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-694
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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