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Int J Cardiol. 2014 Mar 15;172(2):364-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.01.024. Epub 2014 Jan 22.

Aortic valve sclerosis as a marker of coronary artery atherosclerosis; a multicenter study of a large population with a low prevalence of coronary artery disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, University of Verona, Italy. Electronic address:
  • 2Department of Cardiology, University of Parma, Italy.
  • 3Department of Medicine, Section of Cardiology, University of Verona, Italy.
  • 4San Raffaele Hospital, Department of Cardiology, Milan, Italy.
  • 5Department of Cardiology, Niguarda Ca' Granda Hospital, Milan, Italy.
  • 6Civil Hospital of Brescia, Department of Cardiology, Brescia, Italy.
  • 7UOC Cardiologia Ospedale dell'Angelo Mestre-Venezia, Italy.


There are no studies analyzing the association between aortic valve sclerosis (AVS) and coronary artery disease (CAD) in a large and multicenter patient population with an overall low prevalence of CAD. We hypothesized that AVS could predict the presence and degree of CAD in patients with severe organic mitral regurgitation.


We retrospectively analyzed consecutive patients with flail mitral leaflet who had coronary angiography for pre-surgical screening and not because suspect of CAD. End-points were considered: 1) any degree of CAD (stenosis>20%) and 2) obstructive CAD (stenosis>75% of at least one coronary artery). AVS was defined as focal areas of increased echogenicity and thickening of the leaflets. Traditional clinical risk factors were considered: age, male gender, hypertension (>140/90 mmHg or medical therapy), hypercholesterolemia (total cholesterol>200 mg/dl or statin), diabetes, family history of CAD and smoking habit.


675 patients (mean age: 64±12; 27% female) formed the study population. Among patients with AVS, 60% and 39% had any-CAD and ob-CAD respectively, on the opposite among patients without AVS 12% and 7% had any-CAD and ob-cad. After adjustment for clinical risk factors, AVS was associated with a 22.7 fold increased risk of any degree of CAD (95% CI 8.1 63.6 p<0.0001) and with a 21.8 fold increased risk of obstructive-CAD (95% CI 6.6 71.9; p<0.0001).


In a large and multicenter sample of patient with flail mitral leaflet, AVS was strongly associated with the presence and degree of CAD independently of clinical risk factors.


Aortic valve sclerosis; Coronary artery disease; Organic mitral regurgitation

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