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J Heart Valve Dis. 2006 May;15(3):352-5.

Bilateral semilunar valve disease in a child with partial deletion of the Williams-Beuren syndrome region is associated with elastin haploinsufficiency.

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  • 1Division of Cardiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


Elastin is an extracellular matrix protein that is the primary component of elastic fibers, and is expressed in the great vessels as well as the semilunar and atrioventricular valves. Elastin haploinsufficiency, resulting from mutation or deletion of the elastin gene, is an important clinical problem that is typically characterized by arteriopathy. Herein is described a patient with elastin haploinsufficiency due to partial deletion of the Williams-Beuren syndrome region, resulting in bilateral semilunar valve disease and arteriopathy. Histochemical analysis of the aortic valve revealed decreased and disorganized elastin with loss of the normal trilaminar cusp organization. These findings suggest that elastin has a role in the pathogenesis of semilunar valve disease.

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