Aortic valve stenosis
A systematic review by the Rational Clinical Examination addresses diagnosis with the history and physical examination. Since publication of the systematic review, a clinical prediction rule may help detecting moderate to severe aortic valve stenosis (defined as a valve area of 1.2 cm2or less, or a peak instantaneous gradient of 25 mm Hg or greater):
- If the heart murmur does not radiate to the right neck, moderate aortic stenosis was very unlikely
- If the heart murmur has at least three of the following signs, moderate stenosis was likely:
- Systolic heart murmur that is grade 3/6 or greater
- Single S2 heart sound
- Symptoms that might be due to aortic valve stenosis
It is not clear why the guidelines did not include radiation of the murmur to the right neck and the presence of an abnormal carotid pulse among the indications for echocardiography as the value of these signs have been previously shown in a systematic review.
Grading the degree of stenosis
- "Mild (area 1.5 cm2, mean gradient less than 25 mm Hg, or jet velocity less than 3.0 m per second)"
- "Moderate (area 1.0 to 1.5 cm2, mean gradient 25–40 mm Hg, or jet velocity 3.0–4.0 m per second)"
- "Severe (area less than 1.0 cm2, mean gradient greater than 40 mm Hg or jet velocity greater than 4.0 m per second)"
According to the ACC/AHA guidelines: Class I recommendations
- Aortic valve replacement "AVR is indicated for symptomatic patients with severe AS."
- "AVR is indicated for patients with severe AS* undergoing coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG)."
- "AVR is indicated for patients with severe AS* undergoing surgery on the aorta or other heart valves."
- "AVR is recommended for patients with severe AS* and LV systolic dysfunction (ejection fraction less than 0.50). "
Class IIa recommendations
- "AVR is reasonable for patients with moderate AS* undergoing CABG or surgery on the aorta or other heart valves."
Class IIb recommendations
- "AVR may be considered for asymptomatic patients with severe AS* and abnormal response to exercise (e.g., development of symptoms or asymptomatic hypotension)."
- "AVR may be considered for adults with severe asymptomatic AS* if there is a high likelihood of rapid progression (age, calcification, and CAD) or if surgery might be delayed at the time of symptom onset."
- "AVR may be considered in patients undergoing CABG who have mild AS* when there is evidence, such as moderate to severe valve calcification, that progression may be rapid."
- "AVR may be considered for asymptomatic patients with extremely severe AS (aortic valve area less than 0.6 cm2, mean gradient greater than 60 mm Hg, and jet velocity greater than 5.0 m per second) when the patient’s expected operative mortality is 1.0% or less."
Among asymptomatic patients, risks factors for progression are "moderate or severe valvular calcification, together with a rapid increase in aortic-jet velocity."
|Peak aortic jet velocity||No valve replacement of death|
|1 year||2 years||3 years||4 years|
|5.0 and 5.5 m/s||76%||43%||33%||17%|
|≥ 5.5 m/s||44%||25%||11%||4%|
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