Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the echocardiographic abnormalities of the left ventricular outflow tract associated with subaortic stenosis in children.
Background: Considerable evidence suggests that subaortic stenosis is an acquired and progressive lesion, but the etiology remains unknown. We have proposed a four-stage etiologic process for the development of subaortic stenosis. This report addresses the first stage by defining the morphologic abnormalities of the left ventricular outflow tract present in patients who develop subaortic stenosis.
Methods: Two study groups were evaluated-33 patients with isolated subaortic stenosis and 12 patients with perimembranous ventricular septal defect and subaortic stenosis-and were compared with a size- and lesion-matched control group. Subjects ranged in age from 0.05 to 23 years, and body surface area ranged from 0.17 to 2.3 m2. Two independent observers measured aortoseptal angle, aortic annulus diameter and mitral-aortic separation from previously recorded echocardiographic studies.
Results: The aortoseptal angle was steeper in patients with isolated subaortic stenosis than in control subjects (p < 0.001). This pattern was also true for patients with ventricular septal defect and subaortic stenosis compared with control subjects (p < 0.001). Neither age nor body surface area was correlated with aortoseptal angle. A trend toward smaller aortic annulus diameter indexed to patient size was seen between patients and control subjects but failed to achieve statistical significance (p = 0.08). There was an excellent interrater correlation in aortoseptal angle and aortic annulus measurement. The mitral-aortic separation measurement was unreliable. Our results, specifically relating steep aortoseptal angle to subaortic stenosis, confirm the results of other investigators.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that subaortic stenosis is associated with a steepened aortoseptal angle, as defined by two-dimensional echocardiography, and this association holds in patients with and without a ventricular septal defect. A steepened aortoseptal angle may be a risk factor for the development of subaortic stenosis.