Normal aortic valve. A normal aortic valve
opens fully to let blood flow into the aorta. The aortic valve has three flaps
that work like a one-way gate. When the heart pumps, the aortic valve opens to
allow oxygen-rich blood to flow from the left ventricle into the aorta. When
the heart rests between beats, the aortic valve closes to keep blood from
flowing backward into the heart.
Aortic valve stenosis. With aortic valve
stenosis, the valve cannot open as wide as normal. Because the valve does not
open as wide, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerDavid C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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.