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Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of aortic stenosis in adults

Catherine M Otto, MD
Section Editor
William H Gaasch, MD
Deputy Editor
Susan B Yeon, MD, JD, FACC


Aortic valve stenosis is the most common cause of left ventricular outflow obstruction in children and adults; less common causes are subvalvular or supravalvular disease (table 1). This topic will review the clinical features, diagnosis, and evaluation of valvular aortic stenosis (AS) [1].

The pathogenesis, epidemiology, natural history, medical therapy, and percutaneous and surgical valve interventions for AS are discussed separately. (See "Natural history, epidemiology, and prognosis of aortic stenosis" and "Medical management of asymptomatic aortic stenosis in adults" and "Indications for valve replacement in aortic stenosis in adults" and "Choice of prosthetic heart valve for surgical aortic or mitral valve replacement" and "Choice of therapy for symptomatic severe aortic stenosis" and "Percutaneous balloon aortic valvotomy".)


Symptoms — The classic clinical manifestations of aortic stenosis (AS) are heart failure (HF), syncope, and angina. However, these "classic" manifestations reflect end-stage disease. Now, with earlier diagnosis by echocardiography and prospective followup of patients, the following are the most common presenting symptoms (see early symptoms in (figure 1)):

Dyspnea on exertion or decreased exercise tolerance

Exertional dizziness (presyncope) or syncope

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 24, 2016.
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