Aortic stenosis is a common yet serious form of valve disease. The condition involves the constriction of the opening of the aortic valve. This disrupts with the flow of blood to the left ventricle up to the aorta and can also affect the pressure in the left atrium.
In some individuals with aortic valve stenosis, it is due to a congenital heart defect known as bicuspid aortic valve which typically arises during aging as calcium deposits or scarring impairs the valves and limits the amount of blood that flows via the valve.
What are the indications?
The indications of the condition are not always present. It is vital to note that many individuals with aortic valve stenosis do not have any evident symptoms until the amount of blood flow is drastically reduced.
If symptoms might arise, it can include the following:
- Chest pain, tightness or pressure
- Heart murmur
- Fainting or syncope
- Diminished activity level or reduced ability to perform normal activities that involves mild exertion
Babies and children with the condition due to a congenital defect might have symptoms such as failure to gain weight, fatigue during exertion, breathing issues and poor or inadequate feeding.
Aortic valve stenosis generally affects the elderly due to the scarring and buildup of calcium in the valve cusp. Take note that age-related stenosis typically arises after the age of 60 but does not often show any symptoms until 70-80 years of age.
Management of aortic valve stenosis
In case there are no evident symptoms or only mild, the doctor might suggest monitoring and follow-up on any changes.
Nevertheless, an individual with aortic valve stenosis should be assessed using an echocardiogram to confirm the safest and ideal treatment options. On the other hand, even if there are no symptoms present, it is best to start treatment or any repairs based on the test results. The commonly used treatment options include valve repair or replacement.