Aortic stenosis is a narrow place in the aortic valve or around the valve. In normal blood flow, the blood leaves the left ventricle and passes through the aortic valve out to the rest of the body. The narrower the opening in the valve, the harder it is for the left ventricle to pump the blood. The narrow place can be in the valve itself or in the muscles just below the valve. The left ventricle can become enlarged or thickened.
Some children may have fatigue and problems with exercise. Infants may have problems eating. Often a murmur is heard on exam. Infants with severe aortic stenosis may need medical treatment right away. Infants and children with less narrowing will be watched by the cardiology team. Some children may need treatment with medicines. The echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) will check the amount of narrowing and the size of the left ventricle.
Some children can have their aortic stenosis treated in the cardiac catheterization lab. The doctor will pass a balloon thru the valve. The balloon is inflated to open up the narrow place. Then, the balloon is removed.
Some children may need to have surgery to repair the narrow place. There are four types of repair. Your child’s cardiologist and surgeon will help you decide which method is best for your child.
- Valvotomy – The aortic valve is rebuilt to allow blood to pass through more easily. If the narrow place is caused by tissue or muscles underneath the valve, these may be removed as well.
- Ross procedure – The aortic valve is replaced with the child’s own pulmonary valve. A pulmonary valve or tube is then placed where the pulmonary valve had been.
- Subaortic stenosis membrane resection – The membrane causing the narrow place is removed. This allows the blood to pass freely out of the left ventricle.
- Valve replacement – The aortic valve is replaced with either a mechanical valve or a valve from a human or animal donor.
Who Do I Call With Questions?
Your child’s doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can answer any questions.
Pediatric Cardiology (608) 263-6420.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/18/2012
Copyright © 05/18/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6863
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