Aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis is associated with improved aortic distensibility at long-term follow-up
Background: Aortic valve stenosis (AS) is the most frequent form of valvular heart disease. The number of studies evaluating the effect of aortic valve replacement (AVR) for AS on aortic vascular function is limited. The aim of the present study was to examine alterations in aortic distensibility in patients with AS during a 1-year follow-up after AVR. Methods: Twelve patients with severe AS who underwent AVR were prospectively examined (mean age 65 ± 11 years, 7 men). Systolic and diastolic ascending aortic diameters (SD and DD, respectively) were recorded in M mode 3 cm above the aortic valve from a parasternal long-axis view. The SD and DD were measured at the time of maximum anterior motion of the aorta and at the start of the QRS complex, respectively. Aortic stiffness index (β) was defined as [ln(SBP/DBP)] × DD/ΔD, where ln is the natural logarithm, SBP and DBP are the systolic and diastolic blood pressure values, respectively, and ΔD = SD - DD. Results: As expected, aortic stenosis severity and left ventricular mass decreased significantly after AVR. Aortic diameter changes (systolic minus diastolic dimensions) progressively increased and the aortic stiffness index progressively improved to levels comparable with those of age-, sex-, and risk factor-matched controls at the 1-year assessment. Conclusions: Aortic valve replacement in patients with AS is associated with a progressive improvement in aortic distensibility to 1-year values similar to those of controls.