Aortic stenosis (AS) is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. This valve controls the flow of blood from the heart to a large artery called the aorta. This artery carries blood from the heart to the rest of body.
AS makes it hard for blood to flow out of the heart. It can lower the amount of blood that goes to the body and cause a back-up of blood into the heart. This back-up can raise pressure in the heart and lungs. AS can range from mild to severe.
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The aortic valve is made up of three cusps that open and close together. In babies, AS is caused by a birth defect that may result in:
The valve can also be damaged by infection.
Factors that may raise your child's chance of AS are:
Mild AS may not cause any problems. More severe AS may cause:
In rare cases, AS can cause:
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may be alerted of AS by:
Pictures may be taken to view the heart and structures around it. This can be done with:
Mild AS will be monitored for any changes or problems. Treatment may not be needed right away.
Here are options for moderate to severe AS:
Your child may need to avoid strenuous physical activity, such as competitive sports. Talk to your child’s doctor before your child starts an exercise program.
If needed, your child may be given medicine to lower stress on the heart and help prevent heart failure.
Congenital AS can’t be prevented.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery
Aortic stenosis in children. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/aortic-valve-stenosis. Accessed June 28, 2018.
Aortic (valve) stenois in infants and children. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/a/avs/. Updated June 2015. Accessed June 28, 2018.
Aortic stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114195/Aortic-stenosis. Updated January 26, 2018. Accessed June 28, 2018.
Last reviewed June 2018 by Kari Kassir, MD Last Updated: 6/28/2018