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Area: Height Ratio in Patients With Proximal Ascending Aortic Dilation and Trileaflet Aortic Valve

Masri et al report an observational longitudinal study of patients with proximal dilation of the ascending aorta and trileaflet aortic valves. The authors report the relationship between ascending aortic area to height ration (as assessed by CT or MRI) and clinical outcome.



In patients with a dilated proximal ascending aorta
and trileaflet aortic valve, we aimed to assess (1) factors independently
associated with increased long-term mortality and (2) the incremental
prognostic utility of indexing aortic root to patient height.


We studied consecutive patients with a dilated aortic root (≥4
cm) that underwent echocardiography and gated contrast-enhanced thoracic
aortic computed tomography or magnetic resonance angiography between
2003 and 2007. A ratio of aortic root area over height was calculated
(cm2/m) on tomography, and a cutoff of 10 cm2/m was chosen as abnormal,
on the basis of previous reports. All-cause death was recorded.


The cohort comprised 771 patients (63 years [interquartile range,
53–71], 87% men, 85% hypertension, 51% hyperlipidemia, 56% smokers).
Inherited aortopathies, moderate to severe aortic regurgitation, and severe
aortic stenosis were seen in 7%, 18%, and 2%, whereas 91% and 54% were
on β-blockers and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, respectively.
Aortic root area/height ratio was ≥10 cm2/m in 24%. The Society of
Thoracic Surgeons score and right ventricular systolic pressure were 3.3±3
and 31±7 mm Hg, respectively. At 7.8 years (interquartile range, 6.6–8.9),
280 (36%) patients underwent aortic surgery (76% within 1 year) and 130
(17%) died (1% in-hospital postoperative mortality). A lower proportion of
patients in the surgical (versus nonsurgical) group died (13% versus 19%,
P<0.01). On multivariable Cox proportional hazard analysis, aortic root area/
height ratio (hazard ratio, 4.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.69–6.231)
was associated with death, whereas aortic surgery (hazard ratio, 0.47;
95% CI, 0.27–0.81) was associated with improved survival (both P<0.01).
For longer-term mortality, the addition of aortic root area/height ratio ≥10
cm2/m to a clinical model (Society of Thoracic Surgeons score, inherited
aortopathies, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, medications, aortic regurgitation,
and right ventricular systolic pressure), increased the c-statistic from 0.57
(95% CI, 0.35–0.77) to 0.65 (95% CI, 0.52–0.73) and net reclassification
index from 0.17 (95% CI, 0.02–0.31) to 0.23 (95% CI, 0.04–0.34), both
P<0.01. Of the 327 patients with aortic root diameter between 4.5 and 5.5
cm, 44% had an abnormal aortic root area/height ratio, of which 78% died.


In patients with dilated aortic root and trileaflet aortic
valve, a ratio of aortic root area to height provides independent and
improved stratification for prediction of death.


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