If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you should seek medical help. Stenosis of aortic valve may be absolutely asymptomatic for many years, but it can be dangerous and have serious complications. Nevertheless, survival rate after the surgery is very high, almost 85%, for patients who had timely diagnosis.
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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.
Unexpected cardiac death in valve stenosis occurs in 4-7% of cases, mostly among elderly patients with progressed narrowing of the valve opening.
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.