Aortic Stenosis Child



The aortic valve is made up of three cusps that open and close together. In babies, AS is caused by a birth defect that may result in:

  • One cusp that cannot open as fully as three cusps
  • Two cusps that are damaged
  • Cusps that are partly closed or do not open the right way due to thickness

The valve can also be damaged by infection.

Risk Factors

Things that may raise a child's risk of AS are:

  • Having other family members who have congenital valvular heart diseases
  • Rheumatic fever—which can happen after a strep infection
  • Bacterial endocarditis—infection of the heart



Mild AS may not cause any problems. More severe AS may cause:

  • Severe lack of energy after activity
  • Lightheadedness with activity
  • Fainting with activity
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain, squeezing, pressure, or tightness of the chest, usually with activity

Rarely, AS may cause heart rhythm problems and sudden death.


The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the chest and heart.

Pictures may be taken to view the heart and structures around it. This can be done with:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Echocardiogram
  • cardiac catheterization (rare)



Mild AS will be monitored for any changes or problems. Treatment may not be needed right away.

Choices for moderate to severe AS are:

  • Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding strenuous activities
  • Medicine to lower stress on the heart and lower the risk of heart failure

Some children may need surgery. Choices are:

  • Balloon valvuloplasty to open the aortic valve or make it bigger
  • Aortic valve replacement to replace a defective heart valve


There are no known guidelines to prevent AS.

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Edits to original content made by Denver Health.