Living with Aortic Valve Stenosis “A.V.S”:
What is “A.V.S”
What is Aortic Valve Stenosis?
Living with Aortic Valve Stenosis
Introduction: What is aortic valve stenosis?
Aortic valve stenosis camera.gif is a narrowing of the aortic valve camera.gif. The aortic valve allows blood to flow from the heart's lower left chamber (ventricle) into the aorta and to the body. Stenosis prevents the valve from opening properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood through the valve. This causes pressure to build up in the left ventricle and thickens the heart muscle. Your heart can make up for aortic valve stenosis and the extra pressure for a long time. But at some point, it won't be able to keep up the extra effort of pumping blood through the narrowed valve. This can lead to heart failure.
A normal aortic valve is made up of three thin leaflets. In the congenital heart disease aortic stenosis these leaflets are fused or are too thick. As a result, the aortic valve is too narrow and causes obstruction to blood flow out of the heart. The heart has to work harder to pump enough blood to the body. Aortic stenosis can be trivial, mild, moderate, severe or critical.
Sometimes the stenosis is below the valve in the left ventricle, caused by a fibrous membrane or a muscular ridge. This is called subaortic stenosis. Also, the stenosis can occur above the valve, in the aorta itself; this is called supravalvar aortic stenosis.
Signs and symptoms:
In young infants, severe or critical aortic stenosis can cause decreased blood flow, which causes symptoms such as a lack of energy, poor feeding and respiratory distress. Milder forms of aortic stenosis usually won’t cause symptoms in infants or small children. As the child gets older, signs and symptoms of aortic stenosis may appear, including fatigue, a heart murmur, or, rarely, chest pain, fainting or arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm)....