Paediatrics Publications


Endothelial Function, Carotid-Femoral Stiffness, and Plasma Matrix Metalloproteinase-2 in Men With Bicuspid Aortic Valve and Dilated Aorta

Document Type


Publication Date



Journal of the American College of Cardiology





First Page


Last Page


URL with Digital Object Identifier



Objectives: This study sought to examine the relationship between proximal aortic dilation and systemic vascular function in men with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV). Background: Proximal aortic dilation in subjects with BAV is associated with structural and functional abnormalities in the ascending aorta. Methods: We studied 32 men (median age 31 years [range 28 to 32 years]) with nonstenotic BAV categorized into 2 subgroups according to proximal ascending aorta dimensions (nondilated ≤35 mm and dilated ≥40 mm, respectively). Sixteen healthy men were studied as control subjects. Flow-mediated dilation in response to hyperemia (a marker of endothelial dysfunction) and carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (an index of aortic stiffness) were assessed, and peripheral blood was sampled for matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2 and -9) and their tissue inhibitors (TIMP-1 and -2), respectively. Cardiac chamber and aortic dimensions were assessed by echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, respectively. Results: Despite the similar severity of aortic stenosis, left ventricular mass, and function, men with dilated aortas had blunted brachial flow-mediated vasodilation to hyperemia (5% [interquartile range (IQR) 4% to 6%] vs. 8% [IQR 7% to 9%] change, p = 0.001), higher carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (9.3 cm/s [IQR 9 to 10 cm/s] vs. 7 cm/s [IQR 6.9 to 7.4 cm/s], p = 0.001), and significantly higher plasma levels of MMP-2 (1,523 [IQR 1,460 to 1,674] vs. 1,036 [IQR 962 to 1,167], p = 0.001) compared with men with BAV and nondilated aorta. Values for MMP-9, TIMP-1 and -2 levels, and nitroglycerin-induced (endothelium-independent) vasodilation were similar in all 3 groups. Conclusions: Young men with BAV and dilated proximal aortas manifest systemic endothelial dysfunction, increased carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, and higher plasma levels of MMP-2. These observations could introduce new targets for screening and perhaps for therapeutic intervention. © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

This document is currently not available here.