Wall stress on ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms with bicuspid compared with tricuspid aortic valve

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Abstract

Objective

Guidelines for repair of bicuspid aortic valve–associated ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms have been changing, most recently to the same criteria as tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms. Rupture/dissection occurs when wall stress exceeds wall strength. Recent studies suggest similar strength of bicuspid aortic valve versus tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms; thus, comparative wall stress may better predict dissection in bicuspid aortic valve versus tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms. Our aim was to determine whether bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms had higher wall stresses than their tricuspid aortic valve counterparts.

Methods

Patients with bicuspid aortic valve- and tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (bicuspid aortic valve = 17, tricuspid aortic valve = 19) greater than 4.5 cm underwent electrocardiogram-gated computed tomography angiography. Patient-specific 3-dimensional geometry was reconstructed and loaded to systemic pressure after accounting for prestress geometry. Finite element analyses were performed using the LS-DYNA solver (LSTC Inc, Livermore, Calif) with user-defined fiber-embedded material model to determine ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm wall stress.

Results

Bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms 99th-percentile longitudinal stresses were 280 kPa versus 242 kPa (P = .028) for tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms in systole. These stresses did not correlate to diameter for bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (r = −0.004) but had better correlation to tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms diameter (r = 0.677). Longitudinal stresses on sinotubular junction were significantly higher in bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms than in tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (405 vs 329 kPa, P = .023). Bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm 99th-percentile circumferential stresses were 548 kPa versus 462 kPa (P = .033) for tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms, which also did not correlate to bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm diameter (r = 0.007).

Conclusions

Circumferential and longitudinal stresses were greater in bicuspid aortic valve- than tricuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms and were more pronounced in the sinotubular junction. Peak wall stress did not correlate with bicuspid aortic valve-ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm diameter, suggesting diameter alone in this population may be a poor predictor of dissection risk. Our results highlight the need for patient-specific aneurysm wall stress analysis for accurate dissection risk prediction.

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