Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis occurs when the aortic valve of the heart fails to open completely, preventing the normal flow of blood out of the left lower chamber of the heart (ventricle), thus impeding the flow of oxygenated blood to the body. Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and most serious valve disease problems. Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. Aortic stenosis restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may also affect the pressure in the left atrium.
The three principal symptoms of aortic stenosis are chest pain with exertion, shortness of breath with exertion due to failure of the left ventricle, and sudden loss of consciousness; weakness, fatigue and heart palpitations may also be present.Blood pressure usually is normal and the heart rhythm regular. In advanced cases, there may be an abnormally low systolic pressure as compared to the diastolic pressure. A heart murmur is audible with a stethoscope. A murmur due to associated leakage of the aortic valve and/or mitral valve disease may also be present
Statistics The prevalence in the Canada of any valve disease is 2.5%. Of those with valve disease about 0.4% have aortic stenosis. The prevalence of moderate or severe aortic stenosis in patients more than 75 years old is 1.8%. It is the most common valvular heart disease of the elderly and increases with age. The prevalence is 2.0% at age 75 years and 8.1% at 85 years
• Chest pain, pressure or tightness
• Fainting, also called syncope
• Palpitations or a feeling of heavy, pounding, or noticeable heartbeats
• Decline in activity level or reduced ability to do normal activities requiring mild exertion
When the aortic valve is obstructed, 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 may weaken your heart muscle.