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Aortic valve stenosis

When the aortic valve narrows it keeps the valve from opening properly, causing a blockage or obstruction that prevents a healthy blood flow from the heart into the aorta.

Diagnostics to detect aortic valve stenosis include:

Electrocardiogram (EKG) — Electrical pulses generated by your heart are measured and evaluated to determine if there are any anomalies or unusual conditions present.

Chest X-ray — A standard test that can see if there is deposit or fluid buildup in or around your heart. A chest X-ray can detect anomalies such as an enlarged heart or improperly formed valves.

Echocardiogram — Sound waves are directed to your heart through a device that is held up to your chest. The sound waves cause a pattern that allows the physician to see if valves and other parts of the heart are operating properly.

Cardiac catheterization — A liquid dye is injected through a narrow tube (catheter) into an artery leading to the heart to allow special pictures to be taken to see if there are blockages or narrowed arteries that could pose a health threat.

Procedures to treat aortic valve stenosis include:

Balloon valvuloplasty — This minimally invasive, interventional procedure inserts a balloon through a small tube (catheter) to the valve opening. The balloon is then enlarged, stretching the valve opening to improve blood flow.

Aortic valve replacement — Surgeons remove the aortic valve and replace it with either a tissue valve or mechanical valve.

Surgical valvuloplasty — Traditional, “open” surgery during which the surgeon repairs the heart valve to return it to proper operating efficiency.