Affiliations: McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada,
London Health Sciences Centre
Correspondence to: H. Alexander Heggtveit, MD, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster University, Faculty of Health Sciences, 1200 Main St. West, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8N 3Z5
To the Editor:
Little and coworkers (November 1999),1refer to a
dissecting aortic aneurysm “thought to be due to a congenitally
bicuspid aortic valve.“ Since the etiopathogenesis of aortic
dissection in this context is not understood,2 the
relationship to bicuspid aortic valve should be regarded as associative
rather than as primarily causative.
It is noted that the surgical procedure employed was described
initially by Hugh Bentall,3 not “Bentol” as stated in
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Our critics are our friends, for
they show us our faults.” In this spirit, we would like to thank Dr.
Heggtveit for pointing out our sloppiness. We regret misspelling the
procedure that is named after Dr. Hugh Bentall. As well, we fully
accept that, whereas the association of a congenitally bicuspid aortic
valve and an ascending aortic aneurysm with a risk of dissection is
well described, our initial statement did erroneously imply a higher
certainty of causation than is justified.
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