Aortic Stenosis

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

  • Aortic valve repair surgery corrects aortic insufficiency; the damaged valve is strengthened and shortened to help the valve close more tightly.
  • Aortic valve replacement surgery corrects both aortic stenosis and insufficiency.
  • Patients who cannot undergo surgery—due to other conditions or because they are ill—may be candidates for a TAVR procedure.

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

Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a heart specialist, please call our scheduling line.

Phone: 202-342-2400