Computational assessment of bicuspid aortic valve wall-shear stress: implications for calcific aortic valve disease

Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2012 Sep;11(7):1085-96. doi: 10.1007/s10237-012-0375-x.


The bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is associated with a high prevalence of calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD). Although abnormal hemodynamics has been proposed as a potential pathogenic contributor, the native BAV hemodynamic stresses remain largely unknown. Fluid-structure interaction models were designed to quantify the regional BAV leaflet wall-shear stress over the course of CAVD. Systolic flow and leaflet dynamics were computed in two-dimensional tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) and type-1 BAV geometries with different degree of asymmetry (10 and 16% eccentricity) using an arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian approach. Valvular performance and regional leaflet wallshear stress were quantified in terms of valve effective orifice area (EOA), oscillatory shear index (OSI) and temporal shear magnitude (TSM). The dependence of those characteristics on the degree of leaflet calcification was also investigated. The models predicted an average reduction of 49% in BAV peak-systolic EOA relative to the TAV. Regardless of the anatomy, the leaflet wall-shear stress was side-specific and characterized by high magnitude and pulsatility on the ventricularis and low magnitude and oscillations on the fibrosa. While the TAV and non-coronary BAV leaflets shared similar shear stress characteristics, the base of the fused BAV leaflet fibrosa exhibited strong abnormalities, which were modulated by the degree of calcification (6-fold, 10-fold and 16-fold TSM increase in the normal, mildly and severely calcified BAV, respectively, relative to the normal TAV). This study reveals the existence of major differences in wall-shear stress pulsatility and magnitude on TAV and BAV leaflets. Given the ability of abnormal fluid shear stress to trigger valvular inflammation, the results support the existence of a mechano-etiology of CAVD in the BAV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aorta / pathology
  • Aortic Diseases / pathology*
  • Aortic Valve / physiopathology*
  • Calcinosis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Elasticity
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / pathology
  • Heart Valve Diseases / pathology*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Statistical
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Oscillometry / methods
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Time Factors