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Question:

What are my options for treatment of my aortic valve stenosis? 

I am a 61 year old female recently diagnosed (from a routine physical) with congenital aortic valve stenosis and enlargement of the aortic root. I am asymptomatic and have spent the last 2 weeks trying to find any symptoms! Per my 2D-echo, I have "mild concentric left ventricular hypertrophy with normal systolic function. Estimated left ventricular ejection fraction of 70%. The aortic valve appears to be congenitally bicuspid and demonstrates severe valvular aortic stenosis with a peak transvalvular gradient of 90 mmHg and calculated aortic valve of 0.6cm2. The ascending aorta is moderately dilated." My cardiologist tells me I face aortic root and valve replacement within 2 years or less. I would like to know if there are any other options available and /or if there are any research projects available, specifically along the line of stem cell therapy for this type of diagnosis. I am a Registered Nurse working full time in a Neuro Critical Care Unit. Heart valve problems seem to be genetic from my father’s family as I have multiple cousins who have had issues - they are all older than I am. I have looked at the different programs on the website for the Texas Heart Institute and found it a wonderful resource. Thank you for your time and I will be waiting for your response.

submitted by Wanda from Kansas on 10/14/2012

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, J. Michael Duncan, MD    J. Michael Duncan, MD

These results show severe aortic stenosis based on the aortic valve area and by the transvalvular pressure gradient. Patients with a bicuspid aortic valve are more likely to have a dilated ascending aorta and this may need to be replaced if it approaches 5 cm in diameter. Although asymptomatic at present, people with these findings are at risk for a sudden death event because of the severity of the stenosis. If you were my patient, I would recommend surgery in the near future.     

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Updated October 2012
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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