Aortic Valve Stenosis
Lying between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta is the aortic valve. The function of the valve is to allow blood to flow away from the heart and prevent blood from flowing back into the heart. If the valve opening becomes narrowed, aortic stenosis will result, causing the heart to work harder and the walls of the ventricle to become thicker.
Causes of Aortic Stenosis
Aortic stenosis can be caused by a congenital birth defect, rheumatic fever or calcium deposits on the aortic valve. Other risk factors include old age, radiation therapy to the chest, elevated cholesterol levels and gender.
Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis
Syncope, angina and dyspnea, also known as S.A.D., are the most important and prevalent symptoms of aortic valve stenosis. Most diagnoses of the condition occur during routine heart examinations through the variations in the sound of heartbeats and heart murmurs. To fully diagnose the condition, diagnostic tests including echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a chest X-ray may be administered.
Treatment of Aortic Valve Stenosis
Treatment of aortic valve stenosis will depend on symptoms and heart damage. It may include medication for a less severe case and for patients with symptoms, evidence of heart damage or heart failure, surgery may be required.