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Calcified Heart Valves Vs. Normal Heart Valves

Posted by Adam Pick on October 18th, 2008

Are you like me?

When I was diagnosed with severe heart valve disease, I wanted to learn as much as I could about aortic stenosis (my valve disorder), aortic valve surgery and the recovery from open heart surgery.

Specifically, during my second-opinion with Dr. Chaikin, I learned that my heart valve leaflets had narrowed due to the calcification of my bicuspid aortic valve. As a result, blood flow through my heart was compromised which caused my heart to enlarge. This was a dangerous precursor to congestive heart failure. Although I was asymptomatic, I was not in good health.


Calcified Aortic Heart Valve

Anyways… I was just doing some research on heart valves when I came across this incredible picture of an aortic valve that suffers from aortic stenosis due to calcification. As many of you enjoy learning about the anatomy of your heart and heart valves, I decided to post the picture (above) for your review. If you look real close, you can see actually the calcium deposits on each of the three heart valve flaps. Pretty interesting, right?

I also thought you might like to see a picture of a normal heart valve. That said, here are two pictures of an aortic valve and a tricuspid valve. These valves do not have any form of disease (calcification, prolapse, infection).

I hope these pictures help you visualize the difference between calcified and normal heart valves.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.

 


Becca Allison says on October 18th, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Adam,
This is very interesting. My surgeon told me that my tricuspid aortic valve had two of the three leaves fused together, due to calcium deposits. therefore was not working properly, though I was asymptomatic save for a heart murmur. I asked what could have caused it, and he said he didn’t know (not very reassuring). I want to do everything I can to prevent fusing my new (12 weeks ago) bovine pericardium valve. Any suggestions or info would be appreciated. I am 56 and have recovered very well from the surgery, but needless to say, don’t want to do it again any time soon.
Becca

 


helen holmes says on June 19th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

The Mayo Clinic several years ago started a heavy study of calcium in the wrong places of our bodies and they very much want to know if say kidney stones or dental problems are in any way linked by these nasty calcium problems. The woman running the study is Dr.
Virginia Miller and maybe you would like to check with her for more recent news. It just amazes me that every single thing wrong with me has an element of calcium involved. No one can tell me it isn’t systemic at least in my case. But still the question is WHY?

 


jean m harris says on September 23rd, 2010 at 9:04 pm

I had bovine valve placed in my heart on Aug 29 2002 at UCDavis in Sacramento, CA. I am 84 years old. Fit as a fiddle, and wondering how long my valve will last. Last stress test, excellent, and all blood work excellent. Need to take Simvastatin for colesterol even though only 99. I had one CBG during surgery, 80% clogged. wouldl not have had to have that if they were not already in the middle of the surgery. They used veins from my Thigh. I now understand if i should live so long to need a replacement, it would not be invasive as before. No chest cracking, but going up the legs, as they did to put stents in my new husbands arteries, after a heart attach. That is good news, as I am planning to live to at least 104. My mom made it to 93 with no problem with our mutual heart murmmer, from birth.
I certainly enjoyed finding your site and reading your articles, I will put it on my favorites for sure. Jean m Harris

 

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