Aortic Stenosis

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Aortic stenosis is a condition where the aortic valve becomes stiff and narrow, often due to calcium buildup. Since calcium accumulation on valves happens overtime, symptoms usually do not occur until after age 65. The valve is unable to fully open which creates a reduction in the blood from the heart to the body. This will result in the heart inefficiently pumping blood and vital organs not getting enough oxygen.


Aortic stenosis is caused by the following

  • Calcium buildup on the aortic valve.
  • A heart defect that one is born with (congenital heart defect).
  • Rheumatic fever or endocarditis, which both can damage valves.
  • Radiation therapy that causes inflammation and scarring.


  • Chest pain or pressure (angina).
  • Hearing heart murmur through a stethoscope
  • Experiencing dizziness and faintness with activities
  • Shortness of breath with activities
  • Experiencing palpitations (pounding, racing, or fluttering heart beat)
  • Fatigue while performing activities
  • Swollen legs or feet
  • Needing to sleep sitting up
  • Fainting or almost fainting

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose aortic stenosis. Listed below are imaging tests the doctor may perform to properly diagnose aortic stenosis.

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Chest X-Ray
  • Cardiac CT Scan
  • Exercise Treadmill Test
  • Cardiac catheterization


To treat aortic valve stenosis, the doctor may prescribe medication, suggest lifestyle changes, or recommend surgery or procedures to replace the valve.