Can serum lipid and CRP levels predict the "severity" of aortic valve stenosis?
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Background - Results of the studies performed have suggested that hypercholesterolaemia and inflammation are important aetiologic factors in aortic valve stenosis (AVS). However up to now no such data has been obtained to evaluate whether these predictors may still serve as valuable tools to estimate the progression and severity of AVS. If factors contributing to the "progression" of degenerative process can be understood and preventive measures can be taken, both clinical and economical beneficial effects can be achieved. The objective of this study is to investigate the correlation of serum cholesterol, triglyceride and CRP levels with the severity of aortic stenosis echocardiographically evaluated in patients with aortic valve stenosis. Material and methods -Aortic valvular areas of 60 patients (pts) hospitalized in our clinic with suspected AVS were calculated with Doppler echocardiography. Patients were grouped into mild, moderate and advanced AVS, each category containing 20 pts, and then were subclassified regarding those with and without coronary artery disease(CAD). Results -Total cholesterol and CRP levels were found to be 215 +/- 42 mg/dl and 2.0 +/- 1.4 mg/dl; 224 +/- 43 mg/dl and 2.4 +/- 2.1 mg/dl; 225 +/- 55 mg/dl and 2.7 +/- 2.1 mg/dl in pts with mild, moderate and advanced AVS, respectively. A statistically significant difference was not detected among the three groups (p>0.05). When subclasses were classified the levels were found to be much more increased in those patients having additional CAD. Conclusion - We have demonstrated that severity of AVS does not correlate significantly with hypercholesterolaemia and CRP and their levels do not rise in accordance with increasing severity of AVS. Elevations of lipid levels in AVS were found to correlate with the presence of CAD rather than the severity of AVS. So, not in patients with simply AVS but in patients under higher cardiovascular risks, investigation of CRP plus lipid levels might provide benefit with respect to preventive treatment and benefit from cholesterol-lowering drugs can be expected in such kind of patients.