The main artery carrying blood out of the heart is called the aorta. As blood is pumped out of the heart it passes through the aortic valve into the aorta (artery). If the valve is narrowed, due to a birth defect or disease, and does not open properly, then the heart has to work harder to get blood out to the body. This causes the left ventricle to become thicker as it is working harder. The extra work can result in chest pain. The narrowed opening slows down the amount of blood reaching the brain and other parts of the body. In severe cases, blood may back up into the lungs.
Aortic Stenosis is sometimes presented at birth, but typically appears later in life. Some of the causes are rheumatic fever after strep throat, and calcium deposits that build up around the valve.
Symptoms include chest pain, chest tightness, pain during exercise, fainting, dizziness or a feeling of heart beat palpitations.
Your primary doctor using a stethoscope may hear a heart murmur or clicking sound. If this happens, he will recommend that you visit a Cardiologist to verify the source of the sound.
There are many ways to detect Aortic Stenosis such as Chest x-ray, Doppler echocardiography, ECG, Exercise stress testing, MRI of the heart, Left cardiac catheterization, and Trans- esophageal echocardiogram (TEE).
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may be monitored or prescribed medications to alter heart rhythms. Surgery to repair or replace the valve is the preferred treatment for adults.