Thursday, November 27, 2008

Is My Aortic Valve Bicuspid?

Happy Thanksgiving to everybody stateside!

This morning I was doing some research on bicuspid aortic valves. If you have a bicuspid valve, usually that's a sign that you will have some heart issues at some point in your life. A lot of people don't know that they have one because it's not easy to detect. As of today I still don't know whether or not I have a bicuspid valve. My cardio wrote on an echo report at my valve is tricuspid. However, my surgeon told me that he thinks it is actually bicuspid and that this was "missed." The fact that I've always had a heart murmur is another indicator, it seems. It's important because if you have a bicuspid valve and you develop valve disease there is a likelihood of associated disorders, primarily problems with the aorta known as aneurysms. These can be deadly in and of themselves. In the literature you can read references to people dying of a "heart attack," while what they probably had was an aortic aneurysm. It's scary stuff, but no sense avoiding it, so I'm researching it.

I suspect that once I get a copy of the echocardiogram done at the hospital last week I'll have a much better idea where I stand. The tech was very thorough including using the transducer under my chin and throat to look down at the aorta. That echo report copy can't come soon enough!

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