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Monitoring Calcific Aortic Valve Disease: The Role of Biomarkers

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Calcific aortic valve disease is a common disease in the elderly associated with significant morbidity and mortality. It was once described as a passive degenerative process during which serum calcium attaches to the valve surface and binds to the leaflet. However, during the last decade mounting evidence demonstrated that this disease has an active biologic process with numerous signaling pathways. The histological hallmarks seem to be inflammation, oxidized lipids-also detectable in aortic valve lesions-and a remodeling of the extracellular matrix leading to bone formation. Over the years, growing evidence has indicated the risk factors for calcific aortic stenosis including lipids, hypertension, male gender, renal failure, and diabetes. Additional monitoring tools, such as molecular imaging, could improve risk stratification, while assessment of severity and prognosis of patients with chronic aortic regurgitation, is desirable. Also, several studies have investigated the role of biomarkers regarding their utility in the screening of calcific aortic valve disease and their putative clinical value, though their role still remains undetermined.
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Keywords: Calcific aortic valve disease; Valves; atherosclerosis; biomarkers; calcification; degenerative process; diabetes; histological hallmarks; hypertension; inflammation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Cardiology Department, Hippokration Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece.

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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