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Mycoplasma pneumoniae AND Chlamydia pneumoniae IN CALCIFIED NODULES OF AORTIC STENOTIC VALVES

Aortic Valve Stenosis (AVS) has been explained as an atherosclerotic process of the valve as they often exhibit inflammatory changes with infiltration of macrophages, T lymphocytes and lipid infiltration. The present study investigated whether the bacteria Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) and Mycoplasma pneumoniae (MP), detected previously in atherosclerotic plaques, are also present in AVS. Ten valves surgically removed from patients with AVS were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, and electron microscopy. The mean and standard deviation of the percentage areas occupied by CP antigens and MP – DNA were respectively 6.21 +/- 5.41 and 2.27 +/- 2.06 in calcified foci; 2.8 +/- 3.33 and 1.78+/- 3.63 in surrounding fibrotic areas, and 0.21 +/- 0.17 and 0.12 +/- 0.13 in less injured parts of the valve. There was higher amount of CP and MP in the calcified foci and in the surrounded fibrosis than in more preserved valvular regions. In conclusion, the fact that there were greater amounts of CP and MP in calcification foci of AVS favors the hypothesis that AS is not an inevitable degenerative process due to aging, but rather that it may be a response to the presence of these bacteria, similarly to the morphology detected in atherosclerosis damage.