Indications For Aortic Valve Replacement Due To Aortic Stenosis

By Adam Pick on November 3, 2008

David just wrote me an email that reads, “Hi Adam – I’m really confused right now. My doctor says I have severe aortic stenosis which could require heart valve replacement. Strange part? I feel fine. Can you help me better understand what are the key indicators for aortic valve replacement?”

Many patients believe that symptoms are the key indicators for valve operations. However, as I and others can attest, patients can be asymptomatic and still be very ill. That said, the key indicator for valve replacement due to aortic stenosis deals with the size of the heart valve and the rate of blood through the valve.

 


Example Of Aortic Valve With Severe Stenosis

 

According to Dr. William Gaasch, MD, “Individuals with normal aortic valves have valve area is 3.0 to 4.0 cm2. As aortic stenosis develops, a minimal aortic valve gradient is present until the orifice area falls by more than 50 percent. In general, symptoms in patients with aortic stenosis and normal left ventricular systolic function rarely occur until the valve area is less than 1.0 cm2, the aortic jet velocity is over 4.0 m/sec, and/or the mean transvalvular gradient exceeds 40 mmHg.”

This is one of the key indicators for aortic valve replacement. As Dr. Gaasch further notes, “Surgical replacement of the aortic valve is the only effective treatment for severe aortic stenosis. Although there is some lack of agreement about the optimal timing of surgery, it is still possible to develop rational guidelines for the evaluation and management of most patients.

I hope this helps David and you better understand that patient symptoms are not the best indicators for aortic valve surgery due to stenosis. Rather, effective valve measurement through patient echocardiograms appear more appropriate.

Keep on tickin!
Adam


Written by Adam Pick
- Patient & Website Founder

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

Adam Pick is a heart valve patient and author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery. In 2006, Adam founded HeartValveSurgery.com to educate and empower patients. This award-winning website has helped over 10 million people fight heart valve disease. Adam has been featured by the American Heart Association and The Wall Street Journal.

Adam's Newest Blogs

Adam's Newest Posts

“What Happens to Aortic Valve Debris During TAVR?” asks Shripad Learn More.

New MitraClip Research Is A “Game Changer” for Patients! Learn More.

New Community Posts

Roxanne says, "About 3 hours ago the a-fib went away..."
Read more

Robert says, "Hello heart warriors. I just got home..."
Read more

Newest Community Post

Roxanne says, "About 3 hours ago the a-fib went away"
Read more

Robert says, "Hello heart warriors. I just got home"
Read more

William says, "My heart is sad for the loss, of Fran."
Read more

Find Heart Valve Surgeons

Search 1,500 patient-recommended surgeons