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Ectatic aortopathy and arterial abnormalities cause excess morbidity and mortality in Turner syndrome, where a state of vasculopathy seemingly extends into the major head and neck branch arteries.
We investigated the prevalence of abnormalities of the major intrathoracic arteries, their interaction with arterial dimensions, and their association with karyotype.
Magnetic resonance imaging scans determined the arterial abnormalities as well as head and neck branch artery and aortic dimensions in 99 adult women with Turner syndrome compared with 33 healthy female controls. Echocardiography determined aortic valve morphology.
In Turner syndrome, the relative risk of any congenital abnormality was 7.7 (p = 0.003) and 6.7 of ascending aortic dilation (p = 0.02). A bovine aortic arch was seen in both Turner syndrome and controls. Other abnormalities were only encountered in Turner syndrome: elongated transverse aortic arch (47%), bicuspid aortic valve (27%), aortic coarctation (13%), aberrant right subclavian artery (8%), and aortic arch hypoplasia (2%). The innominate and left common carotid arteries were enlarged in Turner syndrome (p < 0.001). Significant associations were first, bicuspid aortic valve with aortic coarctation, elongated transverse aortic arch, and ascending aortic dilation; second, aortic coarctation with elongated aortic arch and descending aortic dilation; third, 45,X with aortic coarctation, elongated transverse aortic arch and ascending aortic dilation; and fourth, branch artery dilation with bicuspid aortic valve, aortic coarctation, elongated transverse aortic arch and 45,X.
An increased risk of arterial abnormalities, aortic dilation, and enlargement of the branch arteries was found in Turner syndrome without distinct patterns of co-segregation.
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