Article Text

Calcific Aortic Valve Disease
  1. David M. Shavelle
  1. From the Division of Cardiology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Torrance, CA.
  1. Address correspondence to: Dr. David M. Shavelle, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Division of Cardiology, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1000 W. Carson Street, Torrance, CA 90509; e-mail: dshavelle{at}

Imaging Studies and Therapeutic Interventions


Echocardiography is the predominant imaging method used for patients with aortic valve disease because of its excellent diagnostic accuracy, high reproducibility and noninvasive nature. Cardiac catheterization is typically reserved for patients in whom the diagnosis remains unclear, those requiring coronary angiography prior to valve replacement, and in the setting of complex valve disease. Cardiac computed tomography (CT) has recently been applied as a research tool to quantify the amount of aortic valve calcium (AVC), which has served as a clinical end point in several medical therapy trials. Medical therapy for aortic valve disease remains an active area of clinical research. Multiple retrospective studies have shown a benefit for 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or statins) in reducing disease progression. However, two recently completed prospective, randomized trials yielded conflicting results. The data for using angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors are in the preliminary stages. This review will focus on imaging methods that are available for patients with aortic valve disease and summarize the recent trials that have evaluated medical therapy aimed to reduce progression of aortic valve disease.

Key words
  • aortic valve disease
  • aortic sclerosis
  • aortic stenosis
  • cardiac computed tomography
  • echocardiography
  • cardiac catheterization

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