Symptoms, Signs and Diagnosis of Aortic Valve Stenosis
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