first_pagesettingsOrder Article Reprints Open AccessArticle Metals and Trace Elements in Calcified Valves in Patients with Acquired Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis: Is There a Connection with the Degeneration Process? by Aleš Tomášek 1,Jan Maňoušek 2ORCID,Jan Kuta 3,Jiří Hlásenský 2,*,Leoš Křen 4,Martin Šindler 5,Michal Zelený 5,Petr Kala 2 andPetr Němec 1 1 Centre for Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplantation, Pekařská 53, 656 91 Brno, Czech Republic 2 Department of Internal Cardiology Medicine, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Jihlavská 20, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic 3 Research Centre for Toxic Compounds in the Environment (RECETOX), Faculty of Science, Masaryk University, Kamenice 5, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic 4 Institute of Pathology, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Jihlavská 20, 625 00 Brno, Czech Republic 5 Institute of Forensic Medicine, St Anne’s University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Masaryk University, Tvrdého 2a, 662 99 Brno, Czech Republic * Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. J. Pers. Med. 2023, 13(2), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/jpm13020320 Received: 4 December 2022 / Revised: 30 January 2023 / Accepted: 7 February 2023 / Published: 13 February 2023 Download Review Reports Versions Notes Abstract Background. Acquired calcified aortic valve stenosis is the most common valve disease in adulthood. In the etiopathogenesis of this complex pathology, the importance of inflammation is mentioned, in which non-infectious influences represented by the biological effects of metal pollutants may participate. The main goal of the study was to determine the concentration of 21 metals and trace elements—aluminium (Al), barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), calcium (Ca), chrome (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), gold (Au), lead (Pb), magnesium (Mg), mercury (Hg), molybdenum (Mo), nickel (Ni), phosphorus (P), selenium (Se), strontium (Sr), sulfur (S), tin (Sn), titanium (Ti), vanadium (V) and zinc (Zn)—in the tissue of calcified aortic valves and to compare them with the concentrations of the same elements in the tissue of healthy aortic valves in the control group. Material and methods. The study group consisted of 49 patients (25 men, mean age: 74) with acquired, severe, calcified aortic valve stenosis with indicated heart surgery. The control group included 34 deceased (20 men, median age: 53) with no evidence of heart disease. Calcified valves were explanted during cardiac surgery and deep frozen. Similarly, the valves of the control group were removed. All valves were lyophilized and analyzed by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The concentrations of selected elements were compared by means of standard statistical methods. Results. Calcified aortic valves contained significantly higher (p < 0.05) concentrations of Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Mg, P, Pb, Se, Sn, Sr and Zn and—in contrast—lower concentrations of Cd, Cu, Mo, S and V than valves of the control group. Significant positive correlations of concentrations between the pairs Ca-P, Cu-S and Se-S and strong negative correlations between the elements Mg-Se, P-S and Ca-S were found in the affected valves. Conclusion. Aortic valve calcification is associated with increased tissue accumulation of the majority of the analyzed elements, including metal pollutants. Some exposure factors may increase their accumulation in the valve tissue. A relationship between exposure to environmental burden and the aortic valve calcification process cannot be ruled out. Advances in histochemical and imaging techniques allowing imaging of metal pollutants directly in valve tissue may represent an important future perspective.