Am J Cardiovasc Dis 2012;2(1):43-49

Original Article
Pathogenesis of aortic sclerosis: association with low BMI, tissue nitric
oxide resistance, but not systemic inflammatory activation

Aaron Leonid Sverdlov, Doan Thi Minh Ngo, John David Horowitz

University of Adelaide, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide, Australia.

Received October 31, 2011; accepted November 11, 2011; Epub December 15, 2011; Published January 1, 2011

Abstract: Aortic sclerosis (ASc) represents the earliest stage of development of aortic valve thickening, and may eventually
progress to aortic valve stenosis (AS). ASc is associated with intra-valvular inflammatory activation, and potentially with
attenuation of the anti-inflammatory effect of nitric oxide (NO). We have shown that ASc occurs less frequently in obese
individuals, in whom systemic inflammatory activity is generally increased. We explored these relationships further by
stratifying a population of 253 ageing individuals according to BMI. Increasing BMI was associated with increased hs-CRP
concentrations (r=0.43; p<0.001). However, presence/absence of ASc did not significantly modify this relationship.
Furthermore, increasing BMI was independent of tissue responsiveness to NO, as measured via inhibition of platelet
aggregation by the NO donor sodium nitroprusside. Therefore the association of low BMI with increased risk of ASc
appears to interact neither with systemic inflammatory activation in such individuals, nor with any “paradoxical” occurrence
of NO resistance. (AJCD1110003).

Keywords: Aortic valve sclerosis, nitric oxide, BMI, inflammation

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