Cited 3 times since 2019 (2.2 per year) source: Scopus Cardiovascular pathology : the official journal of the Society for Cardiovascular Pathology, Volume 41, 01 April 2019, Pages 29-37 The role of hemodynamics in bicuspid aortopathy: a histopathologic study. Grewal N, Girdauskas E, DeRuiter M, Goumans MJ, Poelmann RE, Klautz RJM, Gittenberger-de Groot AC


A bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the most common congenital cardiac malformation and is associated with ascending aortic dilation in 60%-80% of patients. In this study, we aimed to address the role of hemodynamic influences on the development of aortopathy in BAV patients.

Patient and methods

BAV (n=36) and tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) patients (n=17) undergoing aortic valve replacement underwent preoperative flow magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) assessment to detect the area of maximal flow-induced stress in the proximal aorta. Based on these MRI data, paired ascending aortic wall samples [i.e., area of maximal jet impact (jet sample) and the opposite aortic wall (nonjet sample)] were collected during surgery. To study and describe the effects of jet stream on the complete vascular wall, a pathology score was developed based on the recently published aortic consensus paper statement on surgical pathology of the aorta using routine histologic stainings (resorcin fuchsin, hematoxylin-eosin, and Movat) and immunohistochemistry (alpha smooth muscle actin, smooth muscle 22 alpha, platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule).


Comparing the jet and nonjet samples in both BAV and TAV, regions of maximal jet impact did not show any difference in the pathology score in the adventitia and the middle and outer media. In the jet samples, the inner media however showed loss of actin expression in both BAV (P<.0001) and the TAV (P=.0074), and the intimal thickness was significantly enlarged in both patient groups (BAV P=.0005, TAV P=.0041), which was not accompanied by loss of elastic lamellae or vascular smooth muscle cell nuclei.


In our study population, we could not demonstrate a potential distinct role for hemodynamics in the development of aortopathy in BAV patients even if corrected for aortic diameter, raphe position, or whether the valve is stenotic or regurgitant. The intimal layer and inner media however showed alterations in all jet specimens.

Keywords: Hemodynamics, Histopathology, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Tricuspid Aortic Valve, Aortopathy

Cardiovasc Pathol. 2019 Apr;41:29-37