Aortic valve stenosis is the narrowing of the aortic valve, when free flow of blood from the left ventricle is obstructed. In aortic valve stenosis the valve can not open completely, so the blood flow gets stuck. Because of this narrowing the heart muscle needs to work twice as hard, that`s why person with aortic valve stenosis feels dizziness, weakness, problems with breathing and he can faint. Aortic valve stenosis is much more frequently diagnosed among men than among women. Isolated and exceptional case of aortic valve stenosis is very rare, usually it is combined with other heart valve defects, such as mitral stenosis or aortic insufficiency. If a person has bicuspid aortic valve, he can also develop aortic valve stenosis, because his valve forms bicuspid configuration instead of tricuspid, which is normal.
Depending on the progressive stage of hemodynamic disturbances there are 5 periods of aortic valve stenosis development. During the first period stenosis of the valve can be diagnosed only by the procedure called auscultation. The degree of narrowing of the aortic is really insignificant. Patients must actively follow up with cardiologist. In this particular case surgical treatment is not necessary. During the second period, patients complain of constant fatigue, lack of strength, shortness of breath and dizziness. During the third period the coronary insufficiency begins. At this stage, surgical treatment of aortic stenosis is possible and absolutely necessary. Fourth period is characterized by severe heart failure. Patients may experience attacks of cardiac asthma because of the insufficient breathing capacity. In some cases cardiac surgery treatment may be possible. Fifth period is terminal. Drug treatment can only achieve not long-term improvement; surgical correlation or correction of stenosis of the valve is forbidden, because it is too perilous.
First symptoms of valve stenosis are characterized by
Most common aortic valve stenosis cause is rheumatic fever, since it leaves car on valve of the aorta. Such scars may contribute to the narrowing process of the valve. It may also be caused by patient's age as his valve wears down and is not able to pump the blood as it used to do. If a patient experienced kidney disease at some point of his life, he can also have stenosis of valve later.
Unexpected cardiac death in valve stenosis occurs in 4-7% of cases, mostly among elderly patients with progressed narrowing of the valve opening. Complications of stenosis include endocarditis, arrhythmias, AV-malformation block, myocardial infarction and gastrointestinal bleeding of the lower digestive tract.
Almost all patient with stenosis of aortic valve, have a very pale skin. During the medical appointment a doctor inspects the medical history to see if there were some diseases in the patient's past which could cause stenosis of valve. He also asks a patient if there were some members in his family which suffered from the valve insufficiency. Sometimes a doctor may ask a patient to do several simple physical exercises to see if there is enough oxygen in patient`s lungs to undergo normal physical activity without shortness of breath, dizziness and palpitations. Usually patients with stenosis of aortic valve do not have enough oxygen in their system, as aorta is mainly responsible for distributing oxygen throughout the patient's body. Also during the general examination a doctor may notice that the palpation of apical impulse is displaced. ECG can show the signs of valve hypertrophy, arrhythmias and sometimes - the aortic block.
Most effective method of aortic valve stenosis diagnosis is echocardiography, which shows if there are disruptions in the blood pumping of the valves.
All patients, including those who have asymptomatic stenosis of valve, should be under the close supervision of a cardiologist. They are recommended to conduct echocardiography every 5-11 months. Those who have stenosis of valve need to take serious antibiotics before dental or any surgical procedures. Pregnancy for woman with aortic valve stenosis requires careful monitoring of woman`s heart rate. Abortion is indicated in severe degree of aortic valve stenosis since it may result in heat failure.
Medical treatment for valve stenosis is aimed at eliminating arrhythmias and prevention of coronary heart disease. Antiarrhythmic drugs, which are prescribed during the stenosis of aortic valve normalize blood pressure and slow progression of heart failure. Other drugs may prevent the accumulation of fluid in the valve, which may also be deteriorating to the patient`s health. Unfortunately, aortic valve stenosis medications can not cure the stenosis of aortic valve completely, that`s why almost in all severe cases a patient needs to undergo some sort of aortic valve stenosis surgery.
Valve stenosis surgery is required if there is severe shortness of breath and constant dizziness. If it is difficult for the patient to breath, doctors may use the balloon valvuloplasty, which can dilate the aortic stenosis and let more oxygen in. Main purpose of any aortic valve stenosis surgery is the widening of the valve. It can be achieved not only during the balloon valvuloplasty, which has its own drawbacks. For instance, there may be subsequent recurrence of stenosis after balloon valvuloplasty. If that's the case a surgeon may perform opening of aortic stenosis valve area, which is called a surgical valvuloplasty.
Main method of aortic stenosis treatment remains aortic stenosis valve replacement, when the affected valve is completely removed and replaced by its mechanical analogue or valve tissue of the donor or animal. Patients with artificial implanted valves require lifelong monitoring. If there was a mechanical replacement of aortic valve, a patient may accumulate certain blood clots throughout his lifetime, that's why he must take drugs which will prevent blood clots. Valve tissues may need to be replaced or transmitted in future.
Stenosis of aortic may be absolutely asymptomatic for many years. The appearance of clinical symptoms significantly increases the risk of complications and reduces life expectancy. The average life expectancy does not exceed 3-6 years if a patient experiences left ventricular failure. Nevertheless, survival rate after the surgery is very high, almost 85%, for patients who had timely diagnosis.Hide
check_circle Booking Health Service is free of charge for you.
Send your request for the required treatment program
for your personal health issue.