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Aortic valve disease includes:
Some valve defects have both issues. A stiff valve may block blood flow from the heart, and if it also doesn’t close as it should, blood can leak back into the ventricle. Aortic valve disease forces the left ventricle to work harder and, with time, the ventricle can fail.
The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the skill and experience to provide a precise diagnosis for aortic valve disease and develop a customized treatment plan for you and your child.
Norton Children’s Heart Institute is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana.
Children with aortic valve disease may not show signs for many years. Signs and symptoms may include:
A child can be born with aortic valve disease or develop it later in life. A normal aortic valve has three cusps, or leaflets. Some children are born with a bicuspid valve, which has only two leaflets. Children with a bicuspid valve usually do not need any care for the condition until adulthood.
Untreated strep throat can develop into rheumatic fever, which in turn can attack heart valves including the aortic valve and cause stenosis or insufficiency. Taking a full course of prescribed antibiotics is vital to treat strep throat.
In infants, low energy, poor feeding/nursing and difficulty breathing may signal a valve issue. In older children, fainting or chest pain also may indicate a problem.
Though valve disease may have no warning signs, doctors may hear a heart murmur — a specific “whooshing” sound — through a stethoscope. The following tests may provide more details:
At Norton Children’s Heart Institute, aortic valve repair is possible through a number of different options. Young children with aortic stenosis can have their valves opened either by a balloon catheterization procedure or by open heart surgery.
Older children and young adults may require surgery for aortic stenosis or aortic insufficiency and some people with significant aortic valve disease may need an aortic valve replacement. Your pediatric cardiologist and pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will be able to discuss with you the different options of replacement valves in order to find which option is best to fit your needs.