Aortic Valve Stenosis


Aortic stenosis is a form of congenital heart disease (CHD) in which the valve between the left-pumping chamber of the heart (left ventricle) and the main artery carrying blood from the heart to the body (aorta) is narrowed. Aortic stenosis can result from the following:

  • The fusion or thickening of the heart valve’s leaflets, the door-like structures that open to allow blood to flow out of the heart and close to prevent blood from leaking backward
  • The opening of the vessel itself being too small
A graphic comparing a healthy aortic valve with a stenotic one.

Aortic stenosis is rare in infancy. Its incidence increases with age, becoming a common CHD in the third decade of life, particularly for those who are born with a bicuspid aortic valve: The normal aortic valve has three leaflets, but some people are born with two of these leaflets that are partially or completely fused together, resulting in two functional leaflets instead of the usual three. It's also possible to have a unicuspid or "unicommisural" aortic valve, which basically acts as one leaflet instead of three separate leaflets.

Baby and stethoscope

Children's Heart Health

Information for parents of children with pediatric heart conditions. Read more about conditions, tests, and treatments for congenital heart disease.