Aortic sclerosis - A marker of coronary atherosclerosis

Yogendra Prasad, Narendra C. Bhalodkar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Aortic valve sclerosis is defined as calcification and thickening of a trileaflet aortic valve in the absence of obstruction of ventricular outflow. Its frequency increases with age, making it a major geriatric problem. Of adults aged > 65 years, 21-29% exhibit aortic valve sclerosis. Incidence of aortic sclerosis increases with age, male gender, smoking, hypertension, high lipoprotein (Lp) (a), high low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and diabetes mellitus. Aortic valves affected by aortic sclerosis contain a higher amount of oxidized LDL cholesterol and show increased expression of metalloproteinases. Clinically, it can be suspected in the presence of soft ejection systolic murmur at the aortic area, normal split of the second heart sound, and normal volume carotid pulse, but it can be best detected by echocardiography. Aortic sclerosis may be accompanied by mitral annulus calcification up to 50% of cases. It is associated with an increase of approximately 50% in the risk of death from cardiovascular causes and the risk of myocardial infarction. The mechanism by which aortic sclerosis contributes to or is associated with increased cardiovascular risk is not known. Aortic sclerosis is associated with systemic endothelial dysfunction, and a small percentage of cases may progress to aortic stenosis. Lowering of LDL cholesterol by 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors have been shown to decrease progression of aortic valve calcification. Aortic sclerosis is not a mere benign finding. Once diagnosis of aortic sclerosis has been made, it should be considered a potential marker of coexisting coronary disease. Aggressive management of modifiable riskfactors, especially LDL cholesterol lowering, may slow progression of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-673
Number of pages3
JournalClinical Cardiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic valve sclerosis
  • Cardiovascular events
  • Coronary atherosclerosis
  • Risk modification


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