Patterns of aortic dilatation in bicuspid aortic valve-associated aortopathy

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2013 Jun;26(6):600-5. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2013.02.017. Epub 2013 Apr 3.


Background: Bicuspid aortic valves (BAVs) are associated with aortopathy. Recent studies suggest that aortic dilatation is more likely to be seen with left-right coronary cusp fusion (type I) compared with right-noncoronary cusp fusion (type II). The aim of this study was to investigate the association between BAV morphology and patterns of aortopathy.

Methods: Aortic dimensions and BAV morphology were obtained retrospectively from archived cine loops of 581 consecutive patients with BAVs and 277 matched normal controls from the Vancouver General Hospital echocardiography database. Patient demographics and other echocardiographic parameters were extracted from the database.

Results: The study population was composed of 71% type I BAVs (415 patients) and 26% type II BAVs (149 patients). Aortic dilatation was present in 30% of the population. Type I BAV was associated with increased dimensions indexed to body surface area at the sinus of Valsalva compared with type II BAV. No difference in proximal ascending aortic dimension was seen between different BAV morphologies. The pattern of dilatation with type I BAV was more likely to be at the level of the annulus or sinus of Valsalva compared with type II BAV (62% vs 33%, P= .002). Type I BAV was an independent predictor of proximal aortic dilatation (odds ratio, 3.42; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-10.9).

Conclusions: Type I BAV is associated with a greater likelihood of dilatation at the annulus and sinus of Valsalva. There is relative sparing of this region of the aorta in patients with type II BAVs. Individuals with different BAV morphologies may require different strategies of aortopathy surveillance.

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Aortic Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Valve / abnormalities
  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Dilatation, Pathologic
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors