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Aortic Valve Disease

What is aortic valve disease?

The aortic valve controls blood flow from the main pumping chamber of the heart (left ventricle) to the rest of the body through the main artery to your body (the aorta). In aortic valve disease the valve has become narrowed (stenosis) or started to leak (regurgitation).

Aortic valve disease can cause symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or blackouts.

Treatment depends on the severity of the problem. This may occur with a minimally invasive procedure called TAVI (transcutaneous aortic valve insertion) or with aortic valve surgery.

Aortic valve disease is a condition in which the valve between the main pumping chamber of your heart (left ventricle) and the main artery to your body (aorta) doesn't work properly.

Types of aortic valve disease include:

Aortic Stenosis
In aortic stenosis the cusps of the aortic valve may become thickened and have reduced mobility. They may also join or fuse together. The valve becomes narrowed and is unable to open fully. This results in reduced blood flow from your heart into your aorta and the rest of your body.

Aortic Regurgitation
In aortic regurgitation, the aortic valve does not close properly, allowing blood to flow backward into the left ventricle. Treatment depends on the type and severity of your aortic valve disease. In some cases, it may require surgery to repair or replace the aortic valve.

Symptoms

What are the symptoms of aortic valve disease?

Some people with aortic valve disease may only have minor symptoms for several years. The signs and symptoms associated with aortic valve disease include:

shortness of breath, dizziness and/or fainting, chest pain or tightness, irregular heartbeat, fatigue and reduced effort tolerance and swelling of the ankles and feet.

Symptoms

Assessment

What assessment will I need if I have aortic valve disease?

The initial diagnosis is likely to be on examination after the doctor has taken a detailed history from you. The doctor will then arrange an echocardiogram to confirm the diagnosis.

Cardiac CT and Cardiac MRI are also frequently used as part of the diagnostic pathway.

Treatments

What are the treatments for aortic valve disease?

Treatment depends on the type and severity of your aortic valve disease. In some cases, it may require surgery to repair or replace the aortic valve.

  • CTCA Scan & Calcium Score

    This scan is used to ascertain the risk of a heart attack or stroke within the next 5-10 years. [READ MORE]

  • Echocardiogram (TTE)

    An 'echo' is an ultrasound scan of the heart to assess structure and function. [READ MORE]

  • MRI Scan / CMR Scan

    These scans enable cardiologists to view detailed images of the heart’s anatomy. [READ MORE]

  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)

    TAVI inserts the replacement valve in a minimally invasive manner, avoiding the need for open heart surgery. [READ MORE]

  • Transoesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE)

    Sometimes an ‘echo’ scan of the heart requires an ultrasound probe to be passed down the food pipe to provide a clearer image. [READ MORE]

Treatments

Conditions

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Procedures

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