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Signs and Symptoms

Related to Aortic Stenosis or Insufficiency

This congenital deformity may never cause any clinical problems. When valve dysfunction develops, as in aortic stenosis and aortic insufficiency, it is most common in the fifth and sixth decades of life. The symptoms of bicuspid aortic valve disease are related to the development of aortic stenosis or insufficiency.

Signs and Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis does not always produce symptoms, at least not right away. The first sign is typically a heart murmur, which may start months or even years before other symptoms become evident. As the valve narrows, some or all of the following symptoms may occur:

  • Chest pain (angina) or tightness with exertion
  • Fainting with exertion
  • Extreme fatigue with exertion
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath, especially with exercise
  • Sensation of rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)

Signs and Symptoms of Aortic Insufficiency

Many people with aortic insufficiency do not have symptoms. The condition develops gradually and your heart will compensate for the problem. However, the following symptoms may be associated with aortic insufficiency as the condition gradually worsens, although these may also be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:

  • Shortness of breath with activity
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations
  • Bounding pulse
  • Difficulty breathing when lying flat
  • Fainting
  • Swollen ankles or feet
  • Fatigue or weakness

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215