The aortic valve and its root : the modern Babylonian tower still stands
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
, p. 1-7
University of Antwerp
Introduction The complexity of the aortic valve and aortic root is appreciated, especially by specialists in medical imaging and by surgeons who devise and perform aortic valve repair. However, the terminology used to describe the components of the valve differs between different specialists and even within one group of specialists. The aim of this review was to discuss the aortic valve and its root. Discussion The following structures need proper labelling before the root itself can be described unequivocally: valve leaflets, commissures, sinuses of Valsalva, interleaflet triangles, sinutubular junction and ventriculo-aortic junction. Especially the latter deserves attention since there is an anatomic as well as a haemodynamic junction. The difference between both junctions is the key to understand the aortic valve. Its understanding is also of vital importance for surgeons in performing durable aortic valve reparations. Conclusion The differences in terminology of the components of the aortic valve are probably long lasting. Therefore, a clarifying definition of every component described in any scientific manuscript should be provided.