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The aim of the present study is to investigate both the natural history of aortic stenosis and the functional consequences of removal of mechanical load (aortic valve replacement) in patients at different stages of derangement of intracellular signaling. In particular, the main goals of the study are:
1 - to identify changes in myocyte intracellular signaling and cardiac growth factors formation and their relationship with the progression from myocardial hypertrophy to heart failure in patients with aortic stenosis;
2 - to investigate whether the recovery of cardiac function after the removal of mechanical load may be affected by an altered pattern of myocyte intracellular signaling.
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