Severe aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve does not open or close properly. This forces your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body. Over time, the heart muscle weakens. This affects your overall health and keeps you from enjoying normal daily activities. Left untreated, severe aortic stenosis is a very serious, life-threatening condition, which may lead to heart failure and increased risk for sudden cardiac death.
Severe aortic stenosis is often not preventable and may be related to age; buildup of calcium deposits on the aortic valve (stenosis), which causes narrowing; radiation therapy; medications; a history of rheumatic fever; or high cholesterol.
Signs and symptoms of severe aortic stenosis can include:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Feeling faint or fainting with activity
- Shortness of breath
- Heart palpitations
- Heart murmur
If you have these symptoms, talk with your heart doctor. Only a doctor can determine if you have severe aortic stenosis.
Treatments for severe aortic stenosis include certain medicines and surgical procedures. A procedure called balloon valvuloplasty is sometimes used to relieve symptoms of severe aortic stenosis. This minimally-invasive, non-surgical procedure involves a small catheter with a balloon on one end that is guided into the heart. The balloon is inflated, which opens the narrowed valve temporarily.
Learn more about Medtronic's investigational therapy and the associated clinical trial. To see if you may qualify for this clinical trial, please take this short survey or connect with a participating doctor.