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Pediatr Cardiol. 2003 Mar-Apr;24(2):118-21. Epub 2002 Oct 10.

A new on-line method for predicting aortic root dilatation during two-dimensional echocardiography in pediatric patients with Marfan syndrome using the sinus of valsalva to annulus ratio.

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  • 1Penn State University, Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA 17033, USA.


The objective of this study was to determine if calculation of the sinus of Valsalva to annulus ratio (SOV/Ann) effectively screens for root dilatation (ARD) during two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography in young patients (1 month-15 years) with suspected or confirmed Marfan syndrome. The aortic root was imaged using 2D echocardiography (parasternal long-axis view) and the SOV/Ann ratio calculated/analyzed in 27 Marfan patients and 45 age-matched controls. All controls had a SOV/Ann ratio <1.45, and 82% of Marfan's with ARD had a SOV/Ann ratio 1.45. Five of the Marfan patients with ARD had a SOV/Ann ratio < 1.45 due to normalization of the SOV/Ann ratio because of pathologic annular enlargement. Determination of the SOV/Ann ratio allows rapid on-line screening for aortic root dilatation during 2D echocardiography. A SOV/Ann ratio 1.45 predicted ARD in young Marfan patients with a high degree of accuracy (sensitivity = 0.82, specificity = 1.00). Screening for ARD using the SOV/Ann ratio fails when annular dilatation has progressed to the degree that the SOV/Ann ratio normalizes (SOV/Ann < 1.45). In this subgroup of patients, determination of aortic root dilatation will have to be evaluated by standard methods.

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