Aortic root dilatation at sinuses of Valsalva and aortic regurgitation in hypertensive and normotensive subjects: The Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network study
Aortic Valve Insufficiency
Sinus of Valsalva
The association of sinuses of Valsalva dilatation and aortic regurgitation with hypertension is disputed, and few data are available in population-based samples. We explored the relations of sinuses of Valsalva dilatation and aortic regurgitation to hypertension and additional clinical and echocardiographic data in 2096 hypertensive and 361 normotensive participants in the Hypertension Genetic Epidemiology Network study. Age and body surface area were used to predict aortic root diameter using published equations developed from a separated reference population. Aortic dilatation was defined as measured sinuses of Valsalva diameter exceeding the 97.5th percentile of the confidence interval of predicted diameter for age and body size. Aortic dilatation was present in 4.6% of the population. After adjustment for age and body surface area, mean aortic root diameter was larger in hypertensives with suboptimal blood pressure control than normotensives or hypertensives with optimal blood pressure control. In multivariate models, sinuses of Valsalva diameter was weakly positively related to diastolic blood pressure and to left ventricular mass independent of aortic regurgitation. Subjects with aortic dilatation were slightly older, were more frequently men, had higher left ventricular mass, and had lower left ventricular systolic chamber function independent of covariates. Sinuses of Valsalva dilatation was independently related to male gender, aortic valve fibrocalcification, and echocardiographic wall motion abnormalities but not to diastolic blood pressure (or history of hypertension in a separate model). The likelihood of aortic regurgitation increased with larger aortic root diameter, older age, female gender, presence of aortic valve fibrocalcification, and lower body mass index but not hypertension or diabetes. In a subsequent model, diastolic blood pressure was negatively related to aortic regurgitation independent of covariates. In a large population-based sample, sinuses of Valsalva diameter was only mildly larger in subjects with suboptimally controlled hypertension than in normotensives or well-controlled hypertensives, which did not result in differences in prevalence of aortic regurgitation among groups. Sinuses of Valsalva dilatation was associated with higher left ventricular mass and lower systolic function, which may contribute to higher cardiovascular risk in subjects with aortic root dilatation.