Normal aortic valve. A normal aortic valve
opens fully to let blood flow into the aorta. The aortic valve has three flaps
that work like a one-way gate. When the heart pumps, the aortic valve opens to
allow oxygen-rich blood to flow from the left ventricle into the aorta. When
the heart rests between beats, the aortic valve closes to keep blood from
flowing backward into the heart.
Aortic valve stenosis. With aortic valve
stenosis, the valve cannot open as wide as normal. Because the valve does not
open as wide, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the
Primary Medical Reviewer
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer
David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.