Dilatation of the Ascending Aorta in Turner Syndrome: Influence of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Morphology and Body Composition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Aortic dilatation and bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) are frequent in Turner syndrome (TS). Due to short stature, aortic size index (ASI)—ascending aortic diameter (AD)/body surface area (BSA)—is used to identify aortic dilatation in TS patients. We sought to: 1) describe echocardiographic findings in the largest cohort of Australian women with TS; 2) assess if ASI progresses differently with age in TS BAV compared to non-syndromic BAV; and 3) determine whether adjustment of AD for body composition may be superior to BSA indexation. Methods: Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) data were retrospectively collected on 125 women with TS. Body composition was quantified by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 60 women within 6 months of baseline TTE. Age-matched females with non-syndromic BAV (n=170) were used as controls for TS patients with BAV. Results: Mean age of TS women was 28±16 years, and mean height and BSA were 141.6±21.7 cm and 1.4±0.4 m2, respectively. Mean AD was 2.5±0.8 cm, and ASI 2.0±0.6 cm/m2. Aortic dilatation (ASI >2.0 cm/m2) was present in 42 (34%) patients. Turner syndrome women with BAV (n=34; 27%) had a larger ASI than those with tri-leaflet AV (2.2±0.4 cm/m2 vs. 1.7±0.3 cm/m2, p<0.001). In the pooled BAV cohort, TS patients had a higher baseline ASI (2.2±0.4 cm/m2 vs. 2.1±0.3 cm/m2, p=0.02) and greater increase in ASI with age (0.21 mm/m2/year vs. 0.10 mm/m2/year, p=0.01) compared to non-syndromic BAV patients. DXA fat-free mass (r=0.33, p=0.01) and lean mass (r=0.32, p=0.02) correlated with AD, as did BSA (r=0.62, p<0.001). Conclusion: Turner syndrome women with BAV have a greater degree of baseline aortic dilatation and a twofold faster increase in aortic dimension with age when compared to matched women with non-syndromic BAV. Several DXA-derived body composition parameters correlate with aortic size in TS, however BSA appears to be the most robust method of indexation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Oct 2020


  • Aortic dilatation
  • Bicuspid aortic valve
  • Body composition
  • Echocardiography
  • Turner Syndrome

Cite this