Congenital quadricuspid aortic valve (QAV) is a rare cardiac anomaly. Several different anatomical variations of a quadricuspid aortic valve have been described. Aortic regurgitation is the predominant valvular dysfunction associated with QAV and patients tend to present in their 5(th) or 6(th) decade of life. This anomaly is rarely picked up by transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE). A comprehensive transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) study is more likely to diagnose it. We describe a very rare type of QAV - Type F in a 52-year-old lady who presented with symptoms of shortness of breath and pre-syncope. We include TOE images and intra-operative valve images.
TRAIL (tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis inducing ligand) is most often reported to induce apoptosis in tumour cells. It is expressed in artery walls but its role and regulation in vascular pathologies is little studied. We aimed to measure the effect of genetic deletion of TRAIL on atherosclerosis in a mouse model. TRAIL was mainly expressed in endothelium, smooth muscle cells and macrophages within plaques. The absence of TRAIL in chow and in fat-fed mice led to greater lesion coverage in aortae (8 weeks, % area ± SEM), n=7-8, 1.24 ± 0.2 (no TRAIL, chow diet) vs. 0.42 ± 0.1, p<0.01 and 3.4 ± 0.8 (no TRAIL, Western diet) vs. 0.94 ± 0.2, p<0.01 and larger, smooth muscle cell rich lesions at aortic roots than control mice (8 weeks, mean lesion area/total cross sectional area ± SEM, n=7-8, 0.17 ± 0.01 (no TRAIL, chow diet) vs. 0.135 ± 0.006, p<0.05 and 0.36 ± 0.03 (no TRAIL, Western diet) vs. 0.23 ± 0.02, p<0.05) particularly at early time points. The larger early lesions appeared to be as a result of increased smooth muscle cells in lesions of TRAIL deficient, pro-atherosclerotic animals. We conclude that TRAIL attenuates plaque size at early stages of atherosclerosis.
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