The dynamic aortic root. Its role in aortic valve function

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1976 Sep;72(3):413-7.


By attaching appropriate measuring devices to the wall of an intact aortic root at the level of leaflet coaptation, we have measured a 16 per cent diameter change during each cardiac cycle. The dimensional changes observed can by themselves explain aortic valve function and obviate the postulation that the leaflets shorten and lengthen during each cardiac cycle. The tissue composition of the aortic root and leaflets is more compatible with this theory than with other postulations. Such a dynamic aortic root may explain the longevity of the actual aortic leaflets, in that leaflet fatigue stress is minimized by changes in aortic root dimension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aortic Valve / anatomy & histology
  • Aortic Valve / physiology*
  • Dogs
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis
  • Hemodynamics*
  • Motion
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Transducers