Coronary Microcirculation in Aortic Stenosis: Pathophysiology, Invasive Assessment, and Future Directions

J Interv Cardiol. 2020 Jul 22;2020:4603169. doi: 10.1155/2020/4603169. eCollection 2020.


With the increasing prevalence of aortic stenosis (AS) due to a growing elderly population, a proper understanding of its physiology is paramount to guide therapy and define severity. A better understanding of the microvasculature in AS could improve clinical care by predicting left ventricular remodeling or anticipate the interplay between epicardial stenosis and myocardial dysfunction. In this review, we combine five decades of literature regarding microvascular, coronary, and aortic valve physiology with emerging insights from newly developed invasive tools for quantifying microcirculatory function. Furthermore, we describe the coupling between microcirculation and epicardial stenosis, which is currently under investigation in several randomized trials enrolling subjects with concomitant AS and coronary disease. To clarify the physiology explained previously, we present two instructive cases with invasive pressure measurements quantifying coexisting valve and coronary stenoses. Finally, we pose open clinical and research questions whose answers would further expand our knowledge of microvascular dysfunction in AS. These trials were registered with NCT03042104, NCT03094143, and NCT02436655.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / complications
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / physiopathology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / therapy
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / physiopathology
  • Coronary Artery Disease* / therapy
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Microcirculation / physiology*

Associated data