The aorta is the main artery that carries blood out of the heart to the rest of the body. Blood flows out of the heart and into the aorta through the aortic valve. With aortic stenosis, the aortic valve does not open fully. This decreases blood flow from the heart.
As the aortic valve narrows, the left ventricle has to work harder to pump blood out through the valve. To do this extra work, the muscles in the ventricle walls become thicker. This can lead to chest pain. As the pressure continues to rise, blood may back up into the lungs. Severe aortic stenosis can limit the amount of blood that reaches the brain and the rest of the body. Aortic stenosis may be present from birth (congenital), but most often it develops later in life.
To learn more about CHI Memorial’s Heart Valve Program, talk with your physician or call the valve clinic coordinator at (423) 495-4327.