Aortic Stenosis Child
Aortic stenosis (AS) is a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. This valve controls the flow of blood from the heart to a large artery called the aorta. This artery carries blood from the heart to the rest of body.
AS makes it hard for blood to flow out of the heart. It can lower the amount of blood that goes to the body and cause a back-up of blood into the heart. This back-up can raise pressure in the heart and lungs. AS can range from mild to severe.
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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.
Mild AS may not cause any problems. More severe AS may cause:
- Extreme 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.
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
- Medication to lower stress on the heart and prevent 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
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.
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a (Stenosis, Aortic—Child; AS—Child)
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery http://www.canadianvascular.ca
Aortic stenosis in children. Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/conditions/aortic-valve-stenosis. Accessed November 2, 2020.
Aortic (valve) stenois in infants and children. Cincinnati Children’s website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/a/avs. Accessed November 2, 2020.
Aortic stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/aortic-stenosis. Accessed November 2, 2020.
Baumgartner H, Falk V, et al; ESC Scientific Document Group. 2017 ESC/EACTS Guidelines for the management of valvular heart disease. Eur Heart J. 2017 Sep 21;38(36):2739-2791.