Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) represents a spectrum of disease spanning from milder degrees of calcification of valve leaflets, i.e., aortic sclerosis, to severe calcification i.e., aortic stenosis (AS) with hemodynamic instability. The prevalence of CAVD is increasing rapidly due to the aging of the population, being up to 2.8% among patients over 75 years of age. Even without significant aortic valve stenosis, aortic sclerosis is associated with a 50% increased risk of myocardial infarction and death from cardiovascular causes. To date, there is no pharmacological treatment available to reverse or hinder the progression of CAVD. So far, the cholesterol-lowering therapies (statins) and renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blocking drugs have been the major pharmacological agents investigated for treatment of CAVD. Especially angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)s and angiotensin convertase enzyme inhibitors (ACEI)s, have been under active investigation in clinical trials, but have proven to be unsuccessful in slowing the progression of CAVD. Several studies have suggested that other vasoactive hormones, including endothelin and apelin systems are also associated with development of AS. In the present review, we discuss the role of vasoactive factors in the pathogenesis of CAVD as novel pharmacological targets for the treatment of aortic valve calcification.
Fields of Science
- 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
- aortic valve stenosis
- natriuretic peptides
- renin-angiotensin system