ABSTRACT: Consensus is lacking about the clinical importance of aortic root dilatation in assessment of the risk of cardiovascular disease. In this study, correlations between aortic root diameter and echocardiographic features of left ventricular (LV) diastolic function were investigated in 333 patients with at least one cardiovascular risk factor (hypertension, diabetes or dyslipidaemia) and preserved LV systolic function. Aortic root diameter was measured by M-mode echocardiography, and LV diastolic function was evaluated by measuring the peak velocity of early (E) and late (A) diastolic transmitral blood flow and peak early diastolic mitral annular velocity (E') by Doppler echocardiography. Linear regression analysis showed that, in men, age was not related to aortic root diameter but hypertension and LV hypertrophy were, whereas the converse was true in women. The parameters E, E/A ratio and E', were related to aortic root diameter in both sexes. Stepwise multiple regression analysis confirmed that E in women and E' in men were independently associated with aortic root diameter. It is concluded that aortic root dilatation might be a useful marker of subclinical LV diastolic dysfunction. Patients with preserved systolic function showing aortic root dilatation should, therefore, be given preventative therapy against LV diastolic heart failure.
The Journal of international medical research 01/2011; 39(1):64-70. · 0.90 Impact Factor