Aortic valve stenosis (AS) is a type of valvular heart disease characterized by an abnormal narrowing of
the aortic valve opening.
The aortic valve typically consists of three leaflets (trileaflets). It mediates the flow of blood from the
left ventricle to the aorta and the rest of the body during ventricular systole. When the aortic valve becomes
progressively stenotic, a pressure gradient is created between the left ventricle (LV) and the aorta since
blood cannot be adequately pumped through a narrow orifice. Initially, the left ventricle compensates
by thickening of its walls (myocardial hypertrophy) in order to maintain adequate systolic function
(pumping pressure) in order to overcome the increased afterload caused by the stenotic aortic valve.
The type of hypertrophy most commonly seen in AS is concentric hypertrophy, meaning that all the walls
of the LV are (approximately) equally thickened. In the later stages, the left ventricle dilates due to
increased wall stress, and the systolic function deteriorates.
Aortic Valve Stenosis and Insufficiency - information provided
by the American Heart Association
Aortic Stenosis - information from MedLine Plus Medical
Encyclopedia including definitions, illustrations, etc.
Valve Stenosis - WebMD information page
Aortic Valve Stenosis - information on symptoms, diagnosis,
treatment, prognosis, etc.
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