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Aortic valve disease

Aortic stenosis is a type of valvular heart disease that results from abnormal narrowing of the aortic valve opening. In the United States, the most common cause is degenerative calcification of the aortic valve. The occurrence of calcific aortic valve disease increases with age. A narrow aortic valve opening causes an increase in resistance to the flow of blood exiting the left ventricle of the heart. With the introduction of minimally invasive procedures like Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI), treatment options are now available for patients who have aortic stenosis and are considered to have high surgical risk. Therefore, accurate assessment of the severity of aortic stenosis is critical. The ambiguities and imprecisions of the current diagnostic parameters can result in sub-optimal clinical decisions. The figure below shows a normal aortic valve that fully opens and has normal thickness and a diseased aortic valve with a narrow opening and increased thickness.

aortic valve echo

We, at the TEM Laboratory, have a proposed a new diagnostic parameter called aortic valve coefficient (AVC) to improve the accuracy of the non-invasive diagnosis of aortic stenosis using Doppler echocardiography. The AVC is a non-dimensional parameter and is expected to better differentiate between the different grades of severity of aortic stenosis by simultaneously accounting for the variation in pressure drop and flow. An initial retrospective clinical study was conducted to test the feasibility of using AVC to diagnose aortic stenosis. The results of this initial study demonstrated the potential of AVC to improve the diagnostic accuracy of aortic stenosis. The TEM Laboratory is currently developing a methodology to accurately calculate the flow dynamics and the associated deformations of the aortic valve and aorta using computational models. The computational models will be used for detailed evaluations of AVC before proceeding to pre-clinical and clinical studies.

by Gavin D Souza last modified 2015-05-17 18:37