Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

The normal heart has two upper and two lower chambers. The upper chambers called “right and left atrium” collect blood flowing in from the body and in from the lungs. The lower chambers called “ventricles” collect blood from the atria then pump it forcefully out. The right ventricle pumps out to the lungs while the left ventricle pumps to the aorta.

The heart valves, which keep blood flowing in the right direction, are gates at the chamber openings. Each of these valves have flaps (cusps) that open and close once during each heartbeat. The aortic valve is one of the main valves on the left side of the heart. The aortic valve has three flaps. However, someone people are born with an aortic valve that only has two flaps (bicuspid).

Bicuspid aortic valve disease is a type of congenital heart defect (present at birth). Bicuspid aortic valve disease may cause the heart's aortic valve to narrow (aortic valve stenosis). This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or blocks blood flow from the heart to the body. In some cases, the aortic valve doesn't close tightly, causing blood to leak backward into the left ventricle (aortic valve regurgitation).

Most people with bicuspid aortic valve disease aren't affected by valve problems until they're adults, and some may not be affected until they're older adults. Some children with bicuspid aortic valves may have problems early in life requiring treatment.

Causes of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

Doctors know that heart defects present at birth (congenital) arise from errors early in the heart's development, but there's often no clear cause. If the child has a bicuspid aortic valve, their siblings must also be tested.

Symptoms of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

Some people with bicuspid aortic valve disease may not experience symptoms for many years. Once symptoms appear, they may include:

Diagnosis of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will perform a variety of tests, including but not limited to:

Diagnostic tests and procedures

Treatment of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease

Children and adults with a bicuspid aortic valve will require regular monitoring for any changes in their condition. If the condition worsens, your doctor may recommend a specific procedure. Some treatment options include:

Medical and surgical procedures



Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Children's Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
201 Lyons Avenue at Osborne Terrace
Newark, NJ 07112
(973) 926-7000
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Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease Treatment & Care

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