Influence of beta-blocker therapy on aortic blood flow in patients with bicuspid aortic valve

Bradley D. Allen, Michael Markl*, Alex J Barker, Pim van Ooij, James Carr, S Chris Malaisrie, Patrick M McCarthy, Robert O Bonow, Preeti Kansal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


In patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), beta-blockers (BB) are assumed to slow ascending aorta (AAo) dilation by reducing wall shear stress (WSS) on the aneurysmal segment. The aim of this study was to assess differences in AAo peak velocity and WSS in BAV patients with and without BB therapy. BAV patients receiving BB (BB+, n = 30, age: 47 ± 11 years) or not on BB (BB−, n = 30, age: 46 ± 13 years) and healthy controls (n = 15, age: 43 ± 11 years) underwent 4D flow MRI for the assessment of in vivo aortic 3D blood flow. Peak systolic velocities and 3D WSS were calculated at the anterior and posterior walls of the AAo. Both patient groups had higher maximum and mean WSS relative to the control group (p = 0.001 to p = 0.04). WSS was not reduced in the BB+ group compared to BB− patients in the anterior AAo (maximum: 1.49 ± 0.47 vs. 1.38 ± 0.49 N/m2, p = 0.99, mean: 0.76 ± 0.2 vs. 0.74 ± 0.18 N/m2, p = 1.00) or posterior AAo (maximum: 1.45 ± 0.42 vs. 1.39 ± 0.58 N/m2, p = 1.00; mean: 0.65 ± 0.16 vs. 0.63 ± 0.16 N/m2, p = 1.00). AAo peak velocity was elevated in patients compared to controls (p < 0.01) but similar for BB+ and BB− groups (p = 0.42). Linear models identified significant relationships between aortic stenosis severity and increased maximum WSS (β = 0.186, p = 0.007) and between diameter at the sinus of Valsalva and reduced mean WSS (β = −0.151, p = 0.045). Peak velocity and systolic WSS were similar for BAV patients irrespective of BB therapy. Further prospective studies are needed to investigate the impact of dosage and duration of BB therapy on aortic hemodynamics and development of aortopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-628
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • 4D flow MRI
  • Aortic dilatation
  • Beta blocker
  • Bicuspid aortic valve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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