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Challenges persist in identifying symptoms of aortic stenosis

Helping patients know what to look for and how to monitor their symptoms can lead to a timely diagnosis and life-changing treatment.
Share the symptoms checklist

Symptoms of AS are not always clear

A critical part of patient presentation and initial diagnosis is determining whether the patient is symptomatic. Yet severe AS isn’t always easy to diagnose or treat. A variety of challenges may impede symptom identification:

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Evaluation challenges

  • Subtle changes in your patient’s lifestyle may not be apparent
  • Symptoms may overlap a variety of cardiac conditions
  • Referrals may be delayed because it seems too soon or overreactive
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Patient challenges

  • Unaware of what to watch for or why it’s so important
  • Mask their symptoms or attribute their symptoms to old age
  • Don’t check up regularly with their PCP
  • May not have proper access to healthcare

Share this symptoms checklist with your patients, so you can get to the right diagnosis sooner, together.

Early detection is vital for patient survival

Heart icon that is half-filled with yellow and the words "50%" written in blue

~50% of patients with severe AS who go untreated do not survive more than two years after the onset of symptoms.1

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27% of heart valve patients wished they had sought treatment earlier.2

It starts with patient education

Patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis typically present with either a heart murmur or symptoms of chest pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Yet patients often mistake these experiences for normal signs of aging. Empower your patients to engage in shared decision-making, so they know to talk to you about these signs and symptoms right away!

Share My AS Journey with patients

This new interactive toolkit is ready for you to share with your AS patients — and makes it easier for them to understand the steps around their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Whether just diagnosed, looking for guidance on how to monitor symptoms, or choosing the best procedure, these materials offer information in one interactive, easy-to-navigate place.

My AS Journey interactive toolkit provides educational materials that meet patients at four key times along their journey:

Screenshot of the My AS Journey on a tablet device
Step-by-step process for aortic stenosis journey within My AS Journey interactive toolkit

Stop 1: Diagnosed with AS — what now?
Stop 2: Weighing your treatment options
Stop 3: Preparing for treatment
Stop 4: Recovery and getting back to active living

View or download the toolkit below, and be sure to share this link with your patients

Hear one patient's story

If I walk (from the kitchen) to the other room, I get tired and out of breath, I’d have to stop and rest in between.

–Mrs. Darian Tymes

Expanding access to care is critical

Racial and ethnic minority groups are significantly underrepresented among patients undergoing TAVR.3 We are working to change that, so all AS patients have information about treatment options — and access to receive the care they need.

Illustration of an African American elderly female wearing a yellow shirt with a blue background

TAVR patients who are Black are not at an increased risk of death compared to white patients, yet Black patients are not treated at the same rate.4

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Black patients are 2.8 times less likely to receive proper treatment for AS than white patients.5

Initiating the conversation

There is no standard approach for determining symptoms in patients. Yet cardiologists play a critical role in determining whether patients are truly asymptomatic, which has direct implications on the decision to refer for AVR. It can start with a conversation. Approaches may include:

  • In-depth questioning of patient and family members on current and historical activity levels
  • Suggesting a treadmill stress test
  • Teaching patients what to watch out for and how to monitor their symptoms
  • Referring your patient to the heart team for further evaluation — and keeping in mind that too soon is better than too late
  • Sharing the My AS Journey Interactive Toolkit with your patients to educate them on the entire process

90% of heart valve patients are influenced by discussions with their doctor when making treatment decisions.2

Follow the ACC/AHA guidelines

"Patients with severe [valvular heart disease] should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary heart valve team when intervention is considered.”

–ACC/AHA 2020 Guidelines

Urgency is everything for diagnosis and treatment

Learn about determining the severity of aortic stenosis and when to refer patients to the heart team.

Experts share their experiences assessing and treating patients with severe aortic stenosis.

Follow us on Twitter

Twitter: @MDT_StructHeart

TAVR education and resources

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Connect patients to My AS Journey

Help patients learn the value of AS symptom management.

Visit our AS video library

Check out expert conversations on the ACC/AHA guidelines.



Ross J, Braunwald E. Aortic Stenosis. Circulation. 1968;38(1 Suppl):61-67.


Active Living Awareness Initiative Survey. Survey included 3400 respondents. Available at: Accessed July 7, 2022.


Alkhouli M, Holmes DR Jr, Carroll JD, et al. Racial Disparities in the Utilization and Outcomes of TAVR: TVT Registry Report. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2019;12(10):936-948.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2012-2018. Available at:


Sleder A, Tackett S, Cerasale M, et al. Socioeconomic and racial disparities: a case-control study of patients receiving transcatheter aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis. J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2017;4(6):1189-1194.