Background and aim of the study: The role of atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic risk factors in predicting progressive aortic dilatation in patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is not well defined. The study aim was to assess the role of these risk factors in progressive aortic dilatation in patients with this condition.
Methods: Adult patients were identified with BAV who displayed rapid aortic dilatation, and the association of the condition with hemodynamic and atherosclerotic risk factors was assessed. By using the Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Hartford Hospital echocardiographic databases between 1997 and 2009, a total of 135 patients with BAV and serial echocardiograms recorded at least one year apart were allocated to groups of rapid progressors (RP; n = 53) or slow progressors (SP; n = 82). Rapid aortic progression was defined as an annual rate of progression > or = 75th percentile at the sinus of Valsalva or ascending aorta level. Univariate atherosclerotic and hemodynamic variables that correlated with rapid aortic dilatation were analyzed, and independent predictors of rapid aortic dilatation identified.
Results: The RP group had higher mean random blood glucose levels, greater coronary artery disease, more tobacco use, and a higher National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute 10-year risk of developing coronary heart disease (10-year risk). An elevated 10-year risk of > 7% (OR 4.5; 95% CI 1.92-10.73), tobacco use (OR 5.05; 95% CI 1.51-16.86) and higher random blood glucose level (OR 1.01; 95% CI 1.002-1.03) were independent predictors of rapid aortic dilatation.
Conclusion: In adults with BAV and non-dilated aortas at baseline, an elevated 10-year risk, tobacco use and hyperglycemia may serve as predictors of rapid aortic dilatation.