Aortic Stenosis—Child

(Stenosis, Aortic—Child; AS—Child)

Definition

Aortic stenosis (AS) is a narrowing of the aortic valve. This valve controls the flow of blood from the heart to a large artery called the aorta. The aorta carries the blood to the rest of the body.AS can interfere or block the flow of blood from the heart to the rest of the body. It could also cause a back-up of blood into the heart and lungs. AS can range from mild to severe.
Heart Chambers and Valves
heart anatomy
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Causes

The aortic valve is normally made up of three cusps that open and close together. In babies, AS is caused by a birth defect of the aortic valve that may result in:
  • One cusp that can not open as fully as three cusps
  • Two cusps that are damaged
  • Cusps that are partly closed or do not open correctly due to thickness
The aortic valve can also be damaged by infection or injury to the valve.

Risk Factors

Factors that may increase your child's chance of AS include:

Symptoms

Mild AS may not cause any symptoms. More severe AS may cause:
  • Extreme fatigue after exercise or exertion
  • Fainting with exercise or exertion
  • Pain, squeezing, pressure, or tightness of the chest, usually occurring with exertion
  • Palpitations—sensation of rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness with exertion
In rare cases, AS can cause:
  • Abnormal heart rhythms—arrhythmia
  • Sudden death with no previous symptoms

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Current Research From Top Journals



June 2015

A meta-analysis found that mothers participating in a prenatal exercise group were less likely to have a large newborn, less likely to need a cesarean section, and no more likely to have a low birthweight baby than those who did not exercise. The study supports proper prenatal care advice which advocates for mothers to exercise during pregnancy if allowed by the physician.

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