Aortic stenosis is the narrowing or obstruction of the heart's aortic valve, which prevents it from opening properly and blocks the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta.

Risk Factors

Aortic stenosis may be present from birth (congenital) or it may develop later in life (acquired). Other risk factors include valve calcification, being male, and rheumatic fever.

Symptoms

  • Breathlessness with activity
  • Chest pain, angina-type under the sternum, may radiate; crushing, squeezing, pressure, tightness; increased with exercise, relieved with rest
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting or weakness with activity
  • Palpitations

Diagnostic Tools

  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • X-ray
  • ECG
  • Echocardiogram

Treatment

Surgeons may consider replacing the original valve with either:

  • Mechanical valves, created from man-made materials, which require long-term blood thinning with warfarin medication.
  • Biological (tissue) valves

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