Endocrine Abstracts (2002) 3 P171

Accelerated aortic root dilatation in Turner syndrome

JE Ostberg


Department of Endocrinology, University College London Hospitals, London, UK.


The higher risk of cardiovascular mortality in women with Turner Syndrome (TS) is partly related to their risk of aortic dissection, which causes death in 1: 50 women. Establishing factors which predict increased risk of aortic dissection is therefore of prime importance. Previous studies have suggested that multiple risk factors exist, notably coarctation, aortic root dilatation, bicuspid aortic valve and systemic hypertension.

In this study we focused on the determinants of aortic root dilatation in a cross-section of 99 women, mean age (range) 28.3 years (16.6-65.4) who underwent echocardiography in the Adult Turner Clinic. Echocardiographic findings, including aortic root diameter (ARD) and bicuspid aortic valve, were then correlated with clinical and metabolic parameters.

Significant correlations (Spearman's rho) were found between ARD and age (0.285), Body Surface Area (0.249), weight (0.243), plasma renin activity (0.248), urea (0.250) and LV mass (0.473). Bicuspid aortic valve, karyotype, oestrogen use and growth hormone treatment were not found to be significantly correlated with ARD. Most importantly, the gradient of the distribution of age-related dilatation of the aorta appeared greater in women with Turner syndrome compared to a reference population. Definition of the rate of change of the aortic root diameter in women with TS in this way will form a base line for future intervention studies aimed at preventing dissection of the aorta

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