Aortic stenosis (AS) is a narrowing of the aortic valve. This valve controls the flow of blood from the heart to a large artery called the aorta. The aorta carries the blood to the rest of the body.
Aortic stenosis can interfere or block the flow of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It could also cause a back-up of blood into the heart and lungs. AS can range from mild to severe.
Heart Chambers and Valves
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The aortic valve is normally made up of three cusps that open and close together. In babies, AS is caused by a birth defect of the aortic valve that may result in:
The aortic valve can also be damaged by infection or injury to the valve.
Factors that increase your child's chance of developing AS include:
Tell the doctor if your child has any of these risk factors.
Mild AS may not cause any symptoms. More severe AS may cause:
In rare cases, AS can cause:
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may be alerted of AS by the following:
To confirm the diagnosis, tests may include:
Mild AS will be monitored for any changes or complication. Treatment may not be needed right away.
Treatment options for moderate to severe AS may include:
If your child has moderate to severe AS, your child may need to avoid strenuous physical activity. For example, your child will not be able to play competitive sports.
If necessary, your child may be given medication to help prevent heart failure.
In certain cases, your child may need to take antibiotics before dental appointments or surgical procedures. This is to prevent an infection that could affect his heart.
Severe AS may require surgery. Options include:
Congenital AS cannot be prevented.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery
Aortic stenosis. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site481/mainpageS481P0.html . Accessed June 24, 2013.
Aortic stenois. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinn... . Accessed June 24, 2013.
Aortic stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php . Updated May 20, 2013. Accessed June 24, 2013.
Last reviewed June 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 6/3/2013