Inflammation behind heart valve disease

Mar 15, 2011

Research from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows, that a specific inflammatory factor may be important in the development of the heart valve disease aortic stenosis. The results suggest that anti-inflammatory medication could be a possible new treatment.

Aortic stenosis is the most common heart valve disease, which is caused by calcium deposits and a narrowing of the . This is typically seen in the elderly, but can also be caused by a congenital defect. Aortic stenosis is currently treated by surgical replacement of the diseased valve, but research is on-going for identifying medicines which can delay the progress of the disease.

In a new study presented in the scientific journal Circulation, researchers from Karolinska Institutet show that specific pathways of are important underlying factors in the development of aortic stenosis.

By studying heart valves from patients undergoing surgery for various valve diseases, the researchers have shown that and a group of inflammatory substances called leukotrienes can be found in calcified . The most significant inflammation was seen in patients with the narrowest valves on ultrasound examination. The researchers have also shown in that leukotrienes stimulate the calcification of heart valve cells.

There are similarities between atherosclerosis (calcification of the arteries) and aortic stenosis. However, lipid-lowering medicines known as statins which are capable of preventing atherosclerosis have proved ineffective in preventing calcification of the aortic valve.

"The results suggest that anti-inflammatory medication could be a future treatment for aortic stenosis, and it would mean a lot to these patients, most of whom are elderly, if we could slow the disease to the extent that they do not need surgery", says associate professor and cardiologist Magnus B?ck, one of the researchers behind the study.

Explore further: Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

More information: Nagy E, Andersson DC, Caidahl K, Eriksson MJ, Eriksson P, Franco-Cereceda A, Hansson GK and Bäck M, Upregulation of the 5-lipoxygenase pathway in human aortic valves correlates with severity of stenosis and leads to leukotriene-induced effects on valvular myofibroblasts, Circulation 14 March 2011. circ.ahajournals.org/

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Major discovery in the treatment of aortic valve stenosis

Apr 18, 2008

A team of scientists from the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre, led by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, has completed an important study that show how a new type of medication can lead to an ...

'Healthy' sterols may pose health risk

Jul 14, 2008

Plant sterols have been touted as an effective way to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, a research study in the July JLR has uncovered that these compounds do have their own risks, as they can ...

New aortic valve without open heart surgery

Dec 06, 2010

Siemens Healthcare developed a new, smart visualization and guidance technology, which facilitates implantation of an aortic replacement valve by means of a catheter. The technology spares patients the trauma ...

Recommended for you

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently

6 hours ago

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published ...

Researchers explore what happens when heart cells fail

7 hours ago

Through a grant from the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Naomi Chesler will embark upon a new collaborative research project to better understand ...

Stem cells from nerves form teeth

9 hours ago

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that stem cells inside the soft tissues of the tooth come from an unexpected source, namely nerves. These findings are now being published in the journal Nature and co ...

User comments : 0