Surface topography of stenotic aortic valves by scanning electron microscopy.
Surface features of 19 stenotic aortic valves from patients undergoing valve replacement were investigated by scanning electron microscopy. Villi, prominent on five valves, were distributed either singularly or in clusters and differed in shape. Endothelial cells had microvilli and bulbous surface projections. Endothelial disruption with a focal loss of endothelial cells was uniformly observed. Erythrocytes were found scattered over the exposed subendothelial surface or enmeshed within fibrin networks on 11 of the valves. Activated leukocytes were seen on four valves and showed veil-like projections as well as microvilli. Platelets, observed on three valves, displayed pseudopodial formation and hyalomeric spreading, signifying an increased degree of membrane response. Most platelet aggregates were composed entirely of dendritic forms (reversible aggregates), but a few also contained spread forms (irreversible aggreates). Focal deposits of crystalline material, presumably containing calcium, were observed in areas of endocardial disruption.
- Copyright © 1980 by American Heart Association