Background: The association between the severity of arteriosclerosis in the thoracic aorta in patients with isolated aortic stenosis (AS) and with concomitant coronary artery disease (CAD) has been not evaluated. Therefore, the aim of our study was to compare the thoracic aortic atheroma extent and severity in patients with severe AS alone and with concomitant CAD by intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated echocardiograms of 105 consecutive patients with severe degenerative AS who underwent aortic valve replacement. Sixty patients had concomitant CAD (AS/CAD) on coronary angiography and 45 had no CAD (AS alone). These patients were compared with 54 sex- and age-matched patients without AS or CAD. Aortic atheroma (localized intimal thickening of >3 mm) prevalence and morphology in three segments of aorta were assessed with echocardiography. Results: There were 62 men, mean age 75.3 ± 9.4 years. No difference was observed in age, sex, and risk factors for arteriosclerosis other than hypercholesterolemia among AS/CAD, AS alone, and control groups (88%, 67%, 41%, respectively; p < 0.0001). The AS/CAD group had a significantly higher rate of aortic root calcification (68%, 36%, 26%, respectively; p < 0.0001) and aortic atheroma (ascending aorta [26%, 20%, 14%, respectively; p = 0.03]; aortic arch [78%, 36%, 30%, respectively; p < 0.0001]; descending aorta [72%, 42%, 29%, respectively; p < 0.0001]) than AS alone or control subjects. Patients with AS/CAD also had more complex atheromas in the aortic arch (48%, 20%, 7%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Significant differences in extension of aortic arteriosclerosis (presence of plaques in two or three segments) were observed among the groups (70%, 31%, 18%, respectively; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Patients with severe AS and coexisting CAD have more extensive arteriosclerotic changes in the thoracic aorta compared with those with AS alone and control subjects. Preoperative evaluation of the thoracic aorta and more aggressive lipid therapy should be considered in these patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine