DOCTOR'S VIEWS ARCHIVE
Topic: Bicuspid Aortic Valve
How do you, as a Doctor, decide which patient with bicuspid valves need medical attention or treatment and which you can leave alone?
Dr. Michael Miyamoto:
The patient with bicuspid valve, as I mentioned before, should uniformly be advised to adhere to antibiotic prophylactics, that is, take antibiotics before dental and other procedures. As to whether the valve needs more attention because of the abnormal function, that is leakiness, or narrowing of the valve. The indications for intervention are the same as for patients with aortic insufficiency or aortic stenosis, which is narrowing of the valve caused by other causes. There is nothing special in a bicuspid aortic valve in determining when to intervene, generally the symptoms we look for that may develop because of leakiness or narrowing of the valve involves shortness of breath, fluid building up in the lungs, decreasing intolerance for exertion, sometimes the valve becomes narrowed a patient may become dizzy and light headed and occasionally faint. There also may be chest pain, which may develop from a narrow, or leaky valve even in the absence of coexistent heart artery blockage. If these symptoms develop, generally, it is a good indication that the valve may need attention.
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