Aortic valve stenosis

Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve between the lower left chamber of the heart and the aorta, which supplies blood to the body. A narrowed aortic valve forces the lower left chamber of the heart to pump harder to get enough blood through the valve.

Aortic valve stenosis can be caused by a structural problem called bicuspid aortic valve, which develops before a baby is born (congenital heart defect). In these cases, the valve has only two flaps, or leaflets, instead of the normal three.

Aortic valve stenosis also occurs as a person ages and the valve becomes hard and thick from calcium buildup. Most cases of aortic valve stenosis caused by calcium buildup occur in people who are older than 65.

Last Updated: November 4, 2009

Author: Robin Parks, MS

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology

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