Last Updated on Jun 04, 2014

Symptoms, Signs and Diagnosis of Aortic Valve Stenosis

Classic symptoms of aortic valve stenosis are angina, syncope, and the symptoms of heart failure. Sudden death occurs in less than 1% of patients. Cardiac catheterization is usually before surgery

Symptoms & Signs of Aortic Valve Stenosis

The classic symptoms of aortic stenosis are angina, syncope, and the symptoms of heart failure. Angina is chest pain and arises due to the lack of inadequate blood supply to the heart muscles (myocardial ischemia) by virtue of the stenosis.

Syncope (fainting) is usually related to exertion, and is due to inadequate supply to the brain. Heart failure causes symptoms like shortness of breath.

Chest pain is often the first symptom. Sudden death occurs in less than 1% of asymptomatic patients.

Diagnosis of Aortic Valve Stenosis

Diagnostic evaluation begins with a proper elicitation of the medical history (the classical symptoms are stressed on). Aortic stenosis is usually first suspected when the doctor listens to a specific murmur on physical examination. Murmur (here it is called systolic ejection murmur) is due to the stenosed valve.

The imaging modalities are:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest Radiograph: Chest x-ray need is generally nondiagnostic
  • Echocardiography is indispensable
  • Cardiac catheterization is usually undertaken before surgery and gives an idea about the condition of coronary vessels

References:

  1. Cecil Medicine, 23rd Ed.
  2. Harrison's PRINCIPLES OF INTERNAL MEDICINE, 17th Edition.

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