Aortic Stenosis

What is Aortic Stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is when the aortic valve in the heart does not open fully with each beat. Ordinarily, blood flows from the left ventricle through the aortic valve and out to the aorta, supplying blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. When the valve does not open all the way, the heart must work harder to push blood through the narrow opening and blood flow is reduced.

Risk Factors

  • Bicuspid aortic valve (two leaflets instead of three) 
  • History of heart infections (such as rheumatic fever) 
  • Hypertension 
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Diabetes 
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • History of chest radiation 

Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Chest pain 

Diagnosis and Tests

If your physician suspects that you have aortic stenosis, he or she may order the following tests to evaluate and monitor your condition: 

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram 

Treatments

  • Aortic valve replacement surgery
  • Balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) 
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)