Objectives: The aim of the present study was to evaluate value of osteoprotegerin (OPG) in patients with degenerative aortic stenosis and preserved left-ventricular ejection fraction.
Methods: We have prospectively followed 70 patients with aortic stenosis (mean aortic gradient >=15 mmHg) and preserved left-ventricular ejection fraction for 1 year. In all patients, echocardiography and blood tests (OPG, lipids, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) were performed at baseline and after 1 year of follow-up. Detailed medical history including atherosclerotic risk factors was obtained. The control group consisted of 20 healthy individuals with normal echocardiographic findings. Rapid progression of aortic stenosis was defined as more than 7 mmHg increase in mean aortic gradient per year.
Results: Osteoprotegerin concentrations were significantly higher in patients with aortic stenosis (P < 0.0001) and correlated with the degree of aortic stenosis. In multivariable regression model analysis, age ([beta] = 0.015, P < 0.0001), mean aortic gradient ([beta] = 0.04, P = 0.0078) and presence of coronary artery disease ([beta] = 0.111, P = 0.0408) were the only independent determinants of plasma OPG concentrations. There was no association between OPG concentrations and coronary artery disease risk factors: male sex, smoking, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein correlated positively with OPG levels only in nonsurgical patients (with lower degree of stenosis) (r = 0.34, P = 0.01). Aortic stenosis progression was related to body mass, diabetes, triglyceride concentrations, metabolic syndrome and left-ventricular systolic volume. In multivariate analysis, only metabolic syndrome was an independent predictor of aortic stenosis progression.
Conclusion: Osteoprotegerin concentrations are linked to the presence and severity of aortic stenosis. Metabolic syndrome was the only independent predictor of degenerative aortic stenosis progression.
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