Previously, Zhou et al. [1] presented a novel mouse model of aortic valve regurgitation (AR) to explore the effect of altered hemodynamics on atherogenesis. In these ldlr−/− mice with AR, extensive atherosclerotic plaque was found along the naturally lesion-free descending thoracic (DTAo) and abdominal aorta (AbAo), with distinct spatial distributions suggestive of a strong local hemodynamic influence (Fig. 1, top). Doppler ultrasound measurement showed that both DTAo and AbAo of the AR mice experienced an oscillatory flow pattern induced by the diastolic retrograde flow, as opposed to the consistent antegrade flow found in the non-AR mice. The study also suggested that the fraction of the DTAo surface covered by lesions tends to increase with the absolute diastolic retrograde Time-Velocity Integral (TVI) as measured from the Doppler ultrasound.

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