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Original research article
Segmental aortic stiffness in patients with bicuspid aortic valve compared with first-degree relatives
  1. Guillaume Goudot1,
  2. Tristan Mirault2,3,
  3. Aude Rossi2,
  4. Samuel Zarka2,
  5. Juliette Albuisson2,3,
  6. Paul Achouh4,
  7. Mathieu Pernot1,
  8. Emmanuel Messas2,3
  1. 1 Institut Langevin, INSERM U979, ESPCI Paris, CNRS UMR 7587, PSL Research University, Paris, France
  2. 2 Pôle cardiovasculaire, Centre de Référence des Maladies Vasculaires Rares, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, APHP, Paris, France
  3. 3 INSERM U970 PARCC, Paris Descartes University – USPC Sorbonne Paris Cité University, Paris, France
  4. 4 Service de chirurgie cardiovasculaire, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, APHP, Paris, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Emmanuel Messas, Centre National de Référence Maladies Vasculaires Rares, Hôpital européen Georges-Pompidou, Paris 75015, France; emmanuel.messas{at}


Aims To compare the stiffness index in patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) with first-degree relatives at each segment of the thoracic ascending aorta and to compare segmental analysis of aortic stiffness in association with BAV morphotype and function.

Methods 219 patients with BAV and 148 first-degree relatives (without BAV) were consecutively included at a reference centre for BAV. Ultrasound assessment of aortic and carotid stiffness was based on the variation of the segmental arterial diameters during the cardiac cycle and on blood pressure.

Results Without adjustment, the ascending aorta of patients with BAV seemed stiffer at each segment compared with controls (stiffness index at the sinus of Valsalva: 17.0±10.9 vs 8.9±6.1, p<0.001; tubular aorta: 20.4±31.3 vs 12.7±4.8, p=0.04). However, after adjustment on aortic diameter and age, only the sinus of Valsalva remained stiffer (p<0.001), whereas the tubular aorta no longer differed (p=0.610). In patients with BAV, aortic diameters were not influenced by the valve morphotype, except for the arch, which was more dilated in the case of 1- Non coronary sinus-Right subtype of BAV : 36.1 vs 27.6 mm, p<0.001. Aortic regurgitation was associated with an increase in aortic diameters at the sinus of Valsalva (p<0.001) and the tubular aortic levels (p=0.04).

Conclusion Stiffness increase at the sinus of Valsalva level is independent of aortic dilatation in patients with BAV, contrary to the classic relationship between stiffness and dilatation found on the other segments. The relationship between stiffness and clinical impact needs to be assessed at each aortic segment.

  • echocardiography
  • aortic aneurysm
  • bicuspid aortic valve
  • aortic regurgitation
  • aortic stenosis

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  • Contributors GG, AR, SZ, EM carried out the dedicated consultations and collected the data. GG, TM, JA, PA, MP analysed the data. GG and TM performed the statistical analysis. GG, TM wrote the manuscript. JA, PA, MP, EM proof-read the manuscript. EM organised this study. He supervised the cardiac ultrasounds. EM gave final approval of the version to be published and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy and integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The institutional review board (Local Ethic Committee) approved this study.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.