A Message from the Heart to the Heart
Prepared By Dr. Shama Firdus,
IMG-Toronto, Canada Revised by Dr.Abdulwahab Arrazaghi ,
Specialist of Internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases,
University of Toronto, Toronto , Canada
- When the Aortic valve of the heart, which is the gateway to the circulation to the whole body, becomes narrow and the blood flow through that valve becomes diminished.
Causes of Aortic Stenosis:
- Bicuspid and unicuspid aortic valve by birth
- Calcification of the valve occurs as a result of wear and tear and atherosclerosis
- Rheumatic Disease
- Aortic Valve is one of the four valves of the heart.
- Aorta arises from the left ventricle of the heart which is the strongest chamber of the heart.
- When the Aortic valve becomes narrow and fails to open up fully during the pumping action of the heart, the less blood is carried to the rest of the body.
- Consequently the heart has to work harder in order to pump the blood to the rest of the body.
- Eventually over the period of time heart problems start to appear.
Sign and symptoms
- Usually occurs with exertion, patient may experience chest pain like angina, sudden and partial/complete and temporary loss of consciousness, shortness of breath in episodes and shortness of breath during night while lying in the bed and swelling in the feet due to the heart failure in advanced and longstanding cases.
- Following tests confirm the diagnosis of this condition.
- ECG, Chest X ray, and Echocardiography.
- It has been treated according to the severity of the condition.
- If there are no symptoms and signs then patients are advised to avoid the exertion. And to be monitored/followed up by serial echocardiography.
- If the cause of Aortic Stenosis is Rheumatic Fever then Penicillin shot to be given every month for the prevention of Endocarditic (an inflammatory condition of the inner lining of the heart)
If there is symptoms then to be treated accordingly:
- Treatment of high Cholesterol in the blood.
- Treatment of High Blood Pressure
- Treatment of Angina
- Treatment of Heart Failure
- Prevention of Stroke
- Surgical Treatment are indicated when the condition becomes severe and can not be controlled by the medical management.