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Aortic calcification: An early sign of heart valve problems?By Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aortic-valve-calcification/HQ00245
- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Martha Grogan, M.D.read biographyclose window
Martha Grogan, M.D.Martha Grogan, M.D.
Dr. Martha Grogan is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. She is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio, and received her medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School. Dr. Grogan has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1995 and is a consultant in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and is an assistant professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School.
Dr. Grogan is a noninvasive cardiologist specializing in heart failure, adult congenital heart disease and echocardiography. She has witnessed firsthand the importance of patient education in the treatment of diseases such as congestive heart failure and is excited about the tremendous educational opportunities now available through the Internet.
- Aortic calcification: An early sign of heart valve problems?
Tests and diagnosis (1)
- Doppler ultrasound: What is it used for?
Aortic calcification: An early sign of heart valve problems?
Does aortic valve calcification increase the risk of heart disease?
from Martha Grogan, M.D.
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|Aortic valve calcification|
Aortic valve calcification is a condition in which calcium deposits form on the aortic valve in the heart. These deposits can cause narrowing at the opening of the aortic valve. This narrowing can progress to become severe enough to reduce blood flow through the aortic valve, a condition called aortic valve stenosis.
Aortic valve calcification may be an early sign that you have heart disease, even if you don't have any other heart disease symptoms.
Calcification and stenosis typically affect people older than age 65. When it occurs in younger people, it's often caused by:
- A heart defect that's present at birth
- Other illnesses, such as kidney failure
- High cholesterol
Aortic valve sclerosis — thickening and stiffness of the valve — and mild aortic calcification usually don't cause significant heart problems, but require regular checkups to make sure your condition isn't worsening. It's important to have your cholesterol checked because you may need medications to lower cholesterol and help prevent aortic valve sclerosis from getting worse. If the valve becomes severely narrowed (stenotic), aortic valve replacement surgery may be necessary.Next question
Doppler ultrasound: What is it used for?
- Gharacholou SM, et al. Aortic valve sclerosis and clinical outcomes: Moving toward a definition. The American Journal of Medicine. 2011;124:103.
- Palmiero P, et al. Aortic valve sclerosis: Is it a cardiovascular risk factor or cardiac disease marker? Echocardiography. 2007;24:217.
- Conte L, et al. Aortic valve sclerosis: A marker of significant obstructive coronary artery disease in patients with chest pain? 2007;20:703.