Over the past 25 years, the development of an in vivo model to test for calcific aortic valve disease has been challenging. The understanding of the biology, imaging, and duration of exposure to risk factors, have been the cornerstone for defining the different stages of osteoblast differentiation. The first experimental was high cholesterol-diet rabbit model. The studies published demonstrated apoptosis , cell proliferation , and atherosclerosis [1, 3-6] along the aortic valve surface. These models all include short time diet experiments to define the early atherosclerotic findings in the valve. The next level of experimentation includes testing the diet for 6 months. This duration of diet provides the time necessary for the valve to mineralize and to calcify.
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