Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a major contributor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. No therapeutic strategies currently exist to prevent or treat CAVD. The aortic valve represents a unique and highly dynamic tissue, and it is important to recognize that although CAVD shares many commonalities with atherosclerosis, traditional risk factors for atherosclerotic plaque development remain relatively poor predictors of CAVD compared to the predictive power of these correlates with vascular disease (Ortlepp et al. Heart 2003). It is imperative to understand these differences such that CAVD can be treated at the earliest possible stages before calcification progresses to an irreversible endpoint.