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Aortic valve sinuses (anatomy)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The aortic valve sinuses are three spaces, one formed above each of the individual leaflets of the valve by dilatation of the wall of the ascending aorta. Within the region of the sinuses, the thickness of the wall is decreased and the luminal diameter is increased relative to the regions lying immediately superiorly and inferiorly.

Functionally, the sinuses are important in maintaining the patency of the valve leaflets during systole and also the normal flow of blood into the coronary ostia.

The superior margin of each sinus is marked by a thickening termed the supravalvar ridge. The ridge is superior to the upper margin of the leaflets in the fully open aortic valve. Just inferior to the ridge of the left and right leaflets are sited the ostia of the coronary arteries.

With ascent superiorly, the amount of fibrous tissue within the sinus is decreased as the amount of elastic tissue is increased.

The aortic sinuses are more prominent than those of the pulmonary trunk.

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