Sex-Specific Differences in Aortic Valve Calcification Between Bicuspid and Tricuspid Severe Aortic Stenosis

Verena Veulemans*, Thijmen Hokken, Jacqueline Heermann, Isabella Kardys, Oliver Maier, Rik Adrichem, Joris Ooms, Rutger-jan Nuis, Joost Daemen, Alexander Hirsch, Ricardo Budde, Tobias Zeus, Nicolas van Mieghem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Sex-specific thresholds of aortic valve calcification (AVC) correlate with aortic stenosis (AS) and may complement echocardiography to determine AS severity. Importantly, current guideline-recommended thresholds of AVC scores derived by multislice computed tomography do not distinguish between bicuspid and tricuspid aortic valves. The objective of this study was to evaluate the sex-specific differences in the amount of AVC in patients with severe AS and tricuspid (TAV) versus bicuspid (BAV) aortic valve morphologies, retrospectively evaluated by 2 tertiary care institutions. The inclusion criteria comprised patients with severe AS and a left ventricular ejection fraction ≥50% and suitable imaging examinations. The study included 1,450 patients (723 men; 49.9%) with severe AS, including 1,335 patients with TAV (92.1%) and 115 with BAV (17.9%). The calculated Agatston score was higher in BAV patients (men: BAV 4,358 [2,644 to 6,005] AU vs TAV 2,643 [1,727 to 3,794] AU, p <0.01; women: BAV 2,174 [1,330 to 4,378] AU vs TAV 1,703 [964 to 2,534] AU, p <0.01), also when indexed for valve dimensions and body surface area (men: BAV 2,227 [321 to 3,105] AU/m2 vs TAV 1,333 [872 to 1,913] AU/m2, p <0.01; women: BAV 1,326 [782 to 2,148] AU/m2 vs TAV 930 [546 to 1,456] AU/m2, p <0.01). Differences between the BAV- and TAV-derived Agatston score was more prominent in concordant severe AS. In conclusion, sex-specific Agatston scores in severe AS were approximately 1/3 higher in patients with BAV than in patients with TAV for both women and men. Optimal AVC thresholds should be adjusted for BAV, also respecting considerable prognostic implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-92
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Early online date2 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2023

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