There are a few different causes of aortic stenosis, similar to the ones for mitral stenosis: The stenosis can be present at birth–when valve leaflets or cusps are partially fused and narrow the passageway–it can arise due to rheumatic fever, and it is also commonly related to aging when calcium deposits build up in the valve tissue and leads to stiffening and poor function. In women of childbearing age, the most common cause of aortic stenosis is a congenitally bicuspid valve.
Symptoms (usually become apparent late in the second trimester or early in the third trimester):
- Angina (chest pain), pressure or tightness
- Syncope (fainting)
- Decline in activity level or reduced ability to do normal activities
- Heart murmur
If the aortic stenosis is mild or moderate, it is usually well tolerated during pregnancy; however, severe aortic stenosis is associated with a 10% risk of maternal morbidity. Surgery is needed within 2.5 years of pregnancy in about 40% of these patients.
Ideally, the patient should undergo correction of the stenosis pre-pregnancy; however, if this is not possible, treatment options include surgical valve repair, surgical valve replacement, or percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty.
- Problem: Aortic valve stenosis. AHA Web site. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Problem-Aortic-Valve-Stenosis_UCM_450437_Article.jsp#.WZMpRlKWyUl. Updated October, 2016. Accessed June, 2017.
By: Stephanie Kramer