Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is the most common valvular disorder in the elderly, with the incidence of 3% in general population of Western countries. The initial phase of CAVD is characterized by leaflet thickening and possible spotty calcification (i.e. aortic valve sclerosis (AVSc)), while advanced stages have leaflets structure degeneration (i.e. aortic valve stenosis (AS)).
The pathological cellular and molecular mechanisms, involved in CAVD, are extracellular matrix degradation, aberrant matrix deposition, fibrosis, mineralization, inflammation, lipid accumulation, and neo-angiogenesis. CAVD clinical risk shares considerable overlap with those of atherosclerosis and they include hypertension, smoking habits, and hyperlipidemia. Unfortunately, surgical aortic valve replacement and transcatheter aortic valve implantation are the only available treatments when the disease become severe and symptoms occur. Indeed, no approved pharmacological approach is available for CAVD patients.
In this review, the Authors describe the current literature evidence on possible future therapeutic targets for this debilitating and fatal disease such as PCSK9, P2Y2 receptor, cadherin 11, and DDP-4.