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Mayo Clin Proc. 1999 Jan;74(1):14-26.

Congenitally bicuspid aortic valves: a surgical pathology study of 542 cases (1991 through 1996) and a literature review of 2,715 additional cases.

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Mayo Medical School, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.



To describe a clinicopathologic study of a large group of congenitally bicuspid aortic valves surgically excised at a single institution.


The medical charts and bicuspid valves from patients undergoing aortic valve replacement at Mayo Clinic Rochester between 1991 and 1996 were retrospectively reviewed.


The age of the 542 patients ranged from 1 to 86 years (mean, 61), and 372 (69%) were men. Among these, 409 (75%) had pure aortic stenosis (AS), 73 (13%) had pure aortic insufficiency (regurgitation) (AI), 53 (10%) had combined AS and AI, and 7 (1%) had normal function. The mean age was higher for those with AS than AI (65 versus 46 years; P < 0.001), whereas the male-to-female ratio was higher for AI than AS (17.3:1 versus 1.7:1; P < 0.001). The two cusps were not equal in size in 95%, and a raphe was present in 76% (67% typical, 9% atypical). Raphal position was described in 315 and was between the right and left cusps in 270 (86%). Raphal absence occurred more often in valves with equal-sized cusps than unequal (33% versus 14%; P = 0.005). Moderate to severe calcification affected valves with AS more frequently than AI (99% versus 41%; P < 0.001). In contrast, annular dilatation was associated with AI more than AS (48% versus 11%; P < 0.001). Acquired commissural fusion involved valves with combined AS and AI more often than the other functional states (31% versus 14%; P = 0.002). Sixteen patients (age range, 18 to 78 years; 13 men) had infective endocarditis (6 active, 10 healed), including 10 with AI (9 men), 3 with AS plus AI, 2 with AS, and 1 with normal function but embolization.


Functionally, the most common fate of congenitally bicuspid aortic valves was calcific stenosis with or without regurgitation (85%). Because approximately 4 million US citizens have bicuspid valves and because valve replacement is currently the only treatment of symptomatic AS, this disorder will continue to affect health-care costs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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