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BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY Aortic valve sclerosis (AVSc), the early asymptomatic stage of calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD), is characterized by a progressive thickening of the aortic cusps without obstruction of the left ventricular outflow. In spite of its high prevalence, there are no molecular markers to characterize the early stages of CAVD(More)
Calcific aortic stenosis (CAS) is a pathological condition of the aortic valve characterized by dystrophic calcification of the valve leaflets. Despite the high prevalence and mortality associated with CAS, little is known about its pathogenetic mechanisms. Characterized by progressive dystrophic calcification of the valve leaflets, the early stages of(More)
Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the most common acquired valvular disorder in developed countries. CAVD ranges from mild thickening of the valve, known as aortic valve sclerosis (AVSc), to severe impairment of the valve motion, which is termed aortic valve stenosis (AVS). The prevalence of CAVD is nearing epidemic status: its preceding stage, in(More)
AIMS Aortic valve sclerosis (AVSc) is a hallmark of several cardiovascular conditions ranging from chronic heart failure and myocardial infarction to calcific aortic valve stenosis (AVS). AVSc, present in 25-30% of patients over 65 years of age, is characterized by thickening of the leaflets with marginal effects on the mechanical proprieties of the valve(More)
TGF-β1 and VEGF, both angiogenesis inducers, have opposing effects on vascular endothelial cells. TGF-β1 induces apoptosis; VEGF induces survival. We have previously shown that TGF-β1 induces endothelial cell expression of VEGF, which mediates TGF-β1 induction of apoptosis through activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Because VEGF(More)
OBJECTIVE The activation of valve interstitial cells (VICs) toward an osteogenic phenotype characterizes aortic valve sclerosis, the early asymptomatic phase of calcific aortic valve disease. Osteopontin is a phosphorylated acidic glycoprotein that accumulates within the aortic leaflets and labels VIC activation even in noncalcified asymptomatic patients.(More)
Myxomatous mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is the most common cardiac valvular abnormality in industrialized countries and a leading cause of mitral valve surgery for isolated mitral regurgitation. The key role of valvular interstitial cells (VICs) during mitral valve development and homeostasis has been recently suggested, however little is known about the(More)
OBJECTIVE Accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and remodeling of the microstructure of the cusp characterize aortic valve sclerosis, the early phase of calcific aortic valve disease. These events are associated with activation of valvular interstitial cells (VICs) toward an osteogenic-like phenotype. Because ROS cause DNA damage and transcriptional(More)
BACKGROUND Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the most common cause of acquired valve disease. Initial phases of CAVD include thickening of the cusps, whereas advanced stages are associated with biomineralization and reduction of the aortic valve area. These conditions are known as aortic valve sclerosis (AVSc) and aortic valve stenosis (AVS),(More)
AIMS Dissection and rupture of the ascending aorta are life-threatening conditions resulting in 80% mortality. Ascending aortic replacement in patients presenting with thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) is determined by metric measurement. However, a significant number of dissections occur outside of the parameters suggested by the current guidelines. We(More)