Aortic Valve Stenosis or Aortic Stenosis
- By sahlhealth
- May 18, 2021
- 28 views
Aortic Valve Stenosis â€” or Aortic Stenosis â€” occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or blocks blood flow from your heart into the main artery to your body (aorta) and onward to the rest of your body.When the blood flow through the aortic valve is reduced or blocked, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your body. Eventually, this extra work limits the amount of blood it can pump, and this can cause symptoms as well as possibly weaken your heart muscle.Your treatment depends on the severity of your condition. You may need surgery to repair or replace the valve. Left untreated, Aortic Valve Stenosis can lead to serious heart problems.
-Aortic Valve Stenosis ranges from mild to severe. Aortic valve stenosis signs and symptoms generally develop when narrowing of the valve is severe. Some people with aortic valve stenosis may not experience symptoms for many years.
Signs and symptoms of Aortic Valve Stenosis may include:
- Abnormal heart sound (heart murmur) heard through a stethoscope
- Chest pain (angina) or tightness with activity
- Feeling faint or dizzy or fainting with activity
- Shortness of breath, especially when you have been active
- Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity
- Heart palpitations â€” sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat
- Not eating enough (mainly in children with Aortic Valve stenosis)
- Not gaining enough weight (mainly in children with Aortic Valve Stenosis)
-The heart-weakening effects of Aortic Valve Stenosis may lead to heart failure. Heart failure signs and symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles and feet.
When to see a doctor
-If you have a heart murmur, your doctor may recommend that you visit a cardiologist. If you develop any symptoms that may suggest Aortic Valve S-tenosis, see your doctor.
-To diagnose Aortic Valve Stenosis, your doctor may review your signs and symptoms, discuss your medical history, and conduct a physical examination. Your doctor may listen to your heart with a stethoscope to determine if you have a heart murmur that may indicate an aortic valve condition. A doctor trained in heart disease (cardiologist) may evaluate you.Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose your condition and determine the cause and severity of your condition.
Tests may include:
- Echocardiogram. This test uses sound waves to produce video images of your heart in motion. During this test, specialists hold a wandlike device (transducer) on your chest. Doctors may use this test to evaluate your heart chambers, the aortic valve and the blood flow through your heart. A doctor generally uses this test to diagnose your condition if he or she suspects you have a heart valve condition.This test can help doctors closely look at the condition of the aortic valve, and the cause and severity of your condition. It can also help doctors determine if you have additional heart valve conditions.Doctors may conduct another type of echocardiogram called a transesophageal echocardiogram to get a closer look at the aortic valve. In this test, a small transducer attached to the end of a tube is inserted down the tube leading from your mouth to your stomach (esophagus).
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). In this test, wires (electrodes) attached to pads on your skin measure the electrical activity of your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart, heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms.
- Chest X-ray. A chest X-ray can help your doctor determine whether your heart is enlarged, which can occur in aortic valve stenosis. It can also show whether you have an enlarged blood vessel (aorta) leading from your heart or any calcium buildup on your aortic valve. A chest X-ray can also help doctors determine the condition of your lungs.
- Exercise tests or stress tests. Exercise tests help doctors see whether you have signs and symptoms of aortic valve disease during physical activity, and these tests can help determine the severity of your condition. If you are unable to exercise, medications that have similar effects as exercise on your heart may be used.
- Cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan. A cardiac CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create detailed images of your heart and heart valves. Doctors may use this test to measure the size of your aorta and look at your aortic valve more closely.
- Cardiac MRI. A cardiac MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of your heart. This test may be used to determine the severity of your condition and evaluate the size of your aorta.
- Cardiac catheterization. This test isn't often used to diagnose Aortic Valve Disease, but it may be used if other tests aren't able to diagnose the condition or to determine its severity.In this procedure, your doctor threads a thin tube (catheter) through a blood vessel in your arm or groin and guides it to an artery in your heart.Doctors may inject a dye through the catheter, which helps your arteries become visible on an X-ray (coronary angiogram). This provides your doctor with a detailed picture of your heart arteries and how your heart functions. It can also measure the pressure inside your heart chambers.
-Treatment for Aortic Valve Stenosis depends on the severity of your condition, whether you're experiencing signs and symptoms, and if your condition is getting worse.
If your symptoms are mild or you aren't experiencing symptoms, your doctor may monitor your condition with regular follow-up appointments. Your doctor may recommend you make healthy lifestyle changes and take medications to treat symptoms or reduce the risk of complications.
-You may eventually need surgery to repair or replace the diseased aortic valve. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery even if you aren't experiencing symptoms. If you're having another heart surgery, doctors may perform aortic valve surgery at the same time.Surgery to repair or replace an aortic valve is usually performed through a cut (incision) in the chest. Less invasive approaches may be available, and your doctor will evaluate you to determine if you're a candidate for these procedures.If you have Aortic Valve Stenosis, consider being evaluated and treated at a medical center with a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists and other doctors and medical staff trained and experienced in evaluating and treating heart valve disease. This team can work closely with you to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
Surgery options include:
Aortic Valve Repair
-Surgeons rarely repair an aortic valve to treat Aortic Valve Stenosis, and generally Aortic Valve Stenosis requires aortic valve replacement. To repair an aortic valve, surgeons may separate valve flaps (cusps) that have fused.
-Doctors may conduct a procedure using a long, thin tube (catheter) to repair a valve with a narrowed opening (Aortic Valve Stenosis). In this procedure, called Balloon Valvuloplasty, a doctor inserts a catheter with a balloon on the tip into an artery in your arm or groin and guides it to the aortic valve. The doctor performing the procedure then inflates the balloon, which expands the opening of the valve. The balloon is then deflated, and the catheter and balloon are removed.The procedure can treat Aortic Valve Stenosis in infants and children. However, the valve tends to narrow again in adults who've had the procedure, so it's usually only performed in adults who are too ill for surgery or who are waiting for a valve replacement, as they typically need additional procedures to treat the narrowed valve over time.
Aortic valve replacement
-Aortic valve replacement is often needed to treat aortic valve stenosis. In aortic valve replacement, your surgeon removes the damaged valve and replaces it with a mechanical valve or a valve made from cow, pig or human heart tissue (biological tissue valve).Biological tissue valves degenerate over time and may eventually need to be replaced. People with mechanical valves will need to take blood-thinning medications for life to prevent blood clots. Your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and risks of each type of valve and discuss which valve may be appropriate for you.Aortic valve replacement is often needed to treat aortic valve stenosis. In aortic valve replacement, your surgeon removes the damaged valve and replaces it with a mechanical valve or a valve made from cow, pig or human heart tissue (biological tissue valve).Biological tissue valves degenerate over time and may eventually need to be replaced. People with mechanical valves will need to take blood-thinning medications for life to prevent blood clots. Your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and risks of each type of valve and discuss which valve may be appropriate for you.