Aortic stenosis is one of the most common and most serious valve disease problems1.
It is estimated that 1 in 8 elderly Australians has Aortic Stenosis2. Up to 50% of people who develop severe Aortic Stenosis symptoms will die within an average of two years3 if they do not have their aortic valve replaced.
Aortic stenosis is defined as a narrowing of the aortic valve opening. Aortic stenosis restricts the blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta and may also affect the pressure in the left atrium4.
Aortic stenosis is an acquired or congenital condition that is caused “because of scarring and calcification of the leaflets” says Dr Alexander Incani, Interventional Cardiologist. Watch the video below to hear more about the pathophysiology of aortic stenosis.
Aortic Stenosis is the increased pressure load imposed by aortic stenosis results in compensatory hypertrophy of the left ventricle (LV). With time, the ventricle can no longer compensate, causing secondary LV cavity enlargement, reduced ejection fraction (EF) and decreased cardiac output. The result is an increase in exertional syncope, exertional angina and breathlessness over time5.
The severity of aortic stenosis is determined by the calcification of the aortic valve leaflets
“Aortic stenosis is underdiagnosed and under-recognised throughout the world,” Interventional Cardiologist, Associate Professor Martin Ng comments on how serious this condition is to our community. “Most people with the disease are not being picked up, and only a very minority of patients are receiving treatment.” Watch the video below to find out the percentage of people with severe aortic stenosis who aren’t receiving treatment.
Trials have demonstrated the seriousness of untreated aortic stenosis, suggesting that “untreated severe aortic stenosis can have a higher mortality rate compared to most common cancers.” The impact of undiagnosed aortic stenosis can have a significant effect on the healthcare system. Interventional Cardiologist, Dr Ronen Gurvitch explains further in the video below.
Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Professor Michael Vallely discusses the significant growth cardiac surgery had over the last 20 years and the misconceptions it still faces about patient safety and its effectiveness. “We’ve got a lot of work to do to raise the awareness of the disease, but also raise the awareness of how available therapy is and how relatively safe and effective the therapy is.”