Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First-degree Relatives Of Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve Should Be Screened

Date:
June 10, 2009
Source:
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Summary:
About one-third of first-degree relatives of patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valve, the most common congenital heart defect, have larger-than-normal aortas and should get a screening echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to identify and prevent aortic ruptures, according to new research.

Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV), a condition in which patients' aortic valves have just two leaflets instead of the normal three, is the most common cardiac anomaly, affecting up to two percent of the general population. The defect can result in calcification deposits on the heart valve, leakage of the valve and may results in a feeling of tightness in the chest as well as shortness of breath. The condition is easily diagnosed; often physicians can hear a "click" or a murmur when they listen to a BAV patient's heart with a stethoscope.

Related Articles


Studies have shown that BAV is likely genetic, although the gene has not been identified, and in some families, incidence of this defect could run as high as 20 percent.

A new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggests that nearly a third of first-degree relatives (siblings, children or parents) of BAV patients are likely to have enlarged aortas, a potentially serious condition that can only be detected by undergoing transthoracic echocardiograms. This was found even in the absence of any abnormalities of the heart valve itself.

According to the study, 32 percent of first-degree relatives with no heart valve abnormality had significantly larger aortas that expected for age, gender and body size as compared to no enlargement seen in control patients. Also, the study found that the aortas of the first-degree relatives had abnormal stiffness similar to the patients with congenital bicuspid valve. Generally, when aortas are 50 millimeters in diameter, surgery is recommended in order to prevent a rupture of the aorta.

"If you know that a relative does have bicuspid aortic valve, then you know that you should be screened," said study author Kirsten Tolstrup, MD, assistant director of the Cardiac Noninvasive Laboratory at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. "BAV appears to be a genetic condition that has many different manifestations, so we will be studying the genes."

Kirsten Tolstup, MD, assistant director of the Cardiac Noninvasive Laboratory at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute, is available to discuss the study's findings and provide additional details.

This study, conducted among 54 patients with bicuspid aortic valve and 48 first-degree relatives of those patients as well as 45 matched controls found:

  • 32 percent of apparently healthy first-degree relatives have enlarged aortas
  • 53 percent of BAV patients had enlarged aortas
  • 9.4 percent of first-degree relatives had BAV

The findings suggest that patients with bicuspid aortic valve and their first-degree relatives should have a screening echocardiogram to be evaluated for dilated aorta and bicuspid aortic valve.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Biner, Simon, Rafique, Asim M., Ray, Indraneil, Cuk, Olivera, Siegel, Robert J., Tolstrup, Kirsten. Aortapathy is Prevalent in Relatives of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Patients. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.03.027
  2. Silberbach, Michael. Bicuspid Aortic Valve and Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm: Toward a Unified Theory. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2009 (53): 2296-2297 [link]

Cite This Page:

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "First-degree Relatives Of Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve Should Be Screened." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 June 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124624.htm>.
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. (2009, June 10). First-degree Relatives Of Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve Should Be Screened. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124624.htm
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "First-degree Relatives Of Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve Should Be Screened." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/06/090610124624.htm (accessed April 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Wound-Healing Laser Soon to Be a Reality Israeli Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Apr. 1, 2015) Israeli scientists says laser bonding of tissue allows much faster healing and less scarring. Amy Pollock has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

Liberia Sees Resurgence of Drug Trafficking as Ebola Wanes

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The governments of Liberia and Sierra Leone have been busy fighting the menace created by the deadly Ebola virus, but illicit drug lords have taken advantage of the situation to advance the drug trade. Duration: 01:12 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

Stigma Stalks India's Leprosy Sufferers as Disease Returns

AFP (Apr. 1, 2015) The Indian government declared victory over leprosy in 2005, but the disease is making a comeback in some parts of the country, with more than a hundred thousand lepers still living in colonies, shunned from society. Duration: 02:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

7-Year-Old Girl Gets 3-D Printed 'robohand'

AP (Mar. 31, 2015) Although she never had much interest in prosthetic limbs before, Faith Lennox couldn&apos;t wait to slip on her new robohand. The 7-year-old, who lost part of her left arm when she was a baby, grabbed it as soon as it came off a 3-D printer. (March 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins