Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve between
the lower left chamber of the heart and the aorta, which supplies blood to the
body. A narrowed aortic valve forces the lower left chamber of the heart to
pump harder to get enough blood through the valve.
Aortic valve stenosis can be caused by a structural problem called
bicuspid aortic valve, which develops before a baby is born (congenital heart
defect). In these cases, the valve has only two flaps, or leaflets, instead of
the normal three.
Aortic valve stenosis also occurs as a person ages and the valve
becomes hard and thick from calcium buildup. Most cases of aortic valve
stenosis caused by calcium buildup occur in people who are older than
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.