Biomechanical implications of the congenital bicuspid aortic valve: a finite element study of aortic root function from in vivo data.
ABSTRACT Congenital bicuspid aortic valves frequently cause aortic stenosis or regurgitation. Improved understanding of valve and root biomechanics is needed to achieve advancements in surgical repair techniques. By using imaging-derived data, finite element models were developed to quantify aortic valve and root biomechanical alterations associated with bicuspid geometry.
A dynamic 3-dimensional finite element model of the aortic root with a bicuspid aortic valve (type 1 right/left) was developed. The model's geometry was based on measurements from 2-dimensional magnetic resonance images acquired in 8 normotensive and otherwise healthy subjects with echocardiographically normal function of their bicuspid aortic valves. Numeric results were compared with those obtained from our previous model representing the normal root with a tricuspid aortic valve. The effects of raphe thickening on valve kinematics and stresses were also evaluated.
During systole, the bicuspid valve opened asymmetrically compared with the normal valve, resulting in an elliptic shape of its orifice. During diastole, the conjoint cusp occluded a larger proportion of the valve orifice and leaflet bending was altered, although competence was preserved. The bicuspid model presented higher stresses compared with the tricuspid model, particularly in the central basal region of the conjoint cusp (+800%). The presence of a raphe partially reduced stress in this region but increased stress in the other cusp.
Aortic valve function is altered in clinically normally functioning bicuspid aortic valves. Bicuspid geometry per se entails abnormal leaflet stress. The stress location suggests that leaflet stress may play a role in tissue remodeling at the raphe region and in early leaflet degeneration.
- SourceAvailable from: Luca salvatore de santo[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The present study examined temporal and spatial patterns of extracellular matrix and smooth muscle cell changes in the ascending aorta with bicuspid and tricuspid aortic valve stenosis. Wall specimens were retrieved from both the greater and the lesser curvature ("convexity" and "concavity") of 14 nonaneurysmal and 12 aneurysmal aortas (aortic ratios 1.2 and 1.5, respectively) and from 3 heart donors (normal). Immunochemistry was performed for detection of apoptotic (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labelling [TUNEL]-positive) and proliferating (Ki-67-positive) smooth muscle cells and for semiquantification of matrix proteins (collagens, fibronectin, tenascin, laminin). Co-immunoprecipitation assessed the extent of Bcl-2-modifying factor binding to Bcl-2, indicating a matrix-derived cytoskeleton-mediated proapoptotic signaling. Polymerase chain reaction allowed for quantification of messenger RNA expression for Bcl-2. In both bicuspid and tricuspid aneurysms, fibrillar collagens were reduced, whereas fibronectin and tenascin were increased compared with those in normal conditions. These matrix alterations were already evident in bicuspid nonaneurysmal aortas at the convexity, with significant elevation of apoptotic indexes (P = .02 bicuspid vs normal; P = .48 tricuspid vs normal). Apoptotic indexes correlated with aortic dimensions only in tricuspid aortas (P = .01). No significant increase in Ki-67 was found. Higher levels of Bcl-2-modifying factor-Bcl-2 binding were found in bicuspid nonaneurysmal aorta versus tricuspid (P = .03) and normal aortas (P = .01). Bcl-2 messenger RNA expression was reduced in the bicuspid aorta versus normal (P = .08). Smooth muscle cell apoptosis with bicuspid aortic valve stenosis occurred before overt aortic dilation, mainly at the convexity, where wall stress is expectedly higher. In this setting, a matrix-dependent proapoptotic signaling was evidenced by increased Bcl-2-modifying factor-Bcl-2 binding. Stress-dependent bicuspid aortic valve matrix changes may trigger early apoptosis by inducing cytoskeletal rearrangement.The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery 02/2008; 135(1):8-18, 18.e1-2. · 3.41 Impact Factor
- [show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The relation among aortic regurgitation (AR) and aortic root diameter, anthropometric variables, and aortic valve morphology was assessed in 142 patients with dilated aortic roots. The diameter of the aortic root indexed for body surface area and aortic valve sclerosis were related to the presence and severity of AR.The American Journal of Cardiology 03/2005; 95(3):417-20. · 3.21 Impact Factor
- Circulation 09/2002; 106(8):900-4. · 15.20 Impact Factor