Aortic Valve Stenosis

Aortic StenosisValves are structures within the heart that prevent blood from leaking backward.

The aortic valve is between the heart's lower left chamber and the aorta. It has three leaflets, or flaps, that open and close to keep blood from leaking back into the heart.

What Is Aortic Valve Stenosis?

It's a condition where the aortic valve is tight, leaving less space for the blood to go through.

This can occur because the leaflets are very thick or don't open the whole way.

Having stenosis of this valve causes the heart to work harder to push blood through the valve and out to the body.

Refer a Patient to the Interventional Cardiology Program at UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

To refer a patient, doctors can:

How Do You Treat Aortic Valve Stenosis in the Heart Cath Lab?

In the Heart Catheterization Lab at UPMC Children's Hospital, we use a balloon to widen the aortic valve (valvuloplasty).

During this minimally invasive heart cath procedure, your doctor will:

  • Make a small incision in your groin and insert a special balloon-tipped catheter into the narrowed valve.
  • Inflate the balloon briefly, and then deflate it. The hope is that this will open up the valve and release the stenosis.
  • Remove the balloon and catheter.

After treatment, you'll stay overnight in the hospital so we can observe you.

Sometimes this balloon technique doesn’t work — often when the narrowing is above or below the aortic valve. You may need to have heart surgery later to fix the narrowing.