Mechanisms of Aortic Dilation in Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve: JACC State-of-the-Art Review

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2023 Aug 1;82(5):448-464. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2022.10.042.


Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common congenital heart disease and exposes patients to an increased risk of aortic dilation and dissection. Aortic dilation is a slow, silent process, leading to a greater risk of aortic dissection. The prevention of adverse events together with optimization of the frequency of the required lifelong imaging surveillance are important for both clinicians and patients and motivated extensive research to shed light on the physiopathologic processes involved in bicuspid aortic valve aortopathy. Two main research hypotheses have been consolidated in the last decade: one supports a genetic basis for the increased prevalence of dilation, in particular for the aortic root, and the second supports the damaging impact on the aortic wall of altered flow dynamics associated with these structurally abnormal valves, particularly significant in the ascending aorta. Current opinion tends to rule out mutually excluding causative mechanisms, recognizing both as important and potentially clinically relevant.

Keywords: aortic dilation; aortopathy; bicuspid aortic valve; pathophysiology; state of the art.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Diseases* / complications
  • Aortic Valve / abnormalities
  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease*
  • Dilatation
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / complications
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Humans