Learn About Bicuspid Aortic Valve

What is the definition of Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

A bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is an aortic valve that only has two leaflets, instead of three.

The aortic valve regulates blood flow from the heart into the aorta. The aorta is the major blood vessel that brings oxygen-rich blood to the body.

Bicuspid aortic valve
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What are the alternative names for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

Bicommissural aortic valve; Valvular disease - bicuspid aortic valve; BAV

What are the causes of Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

The aortic valve allows oxygen-rich blood to flow from the heart to the aorta. It prevents the blood from flowing back from the aorta into the heart when the pumping chamber relaxes.

BAV is present at birth (congenital). An abnormal aortic valve develops during the early weeks of pregnancy, when the baby's heart is developing. The cause of this problem is unclear, but it is the most common congenital heart defect. BAV often runs in families.

A BAV may not be completely effective at stopping blood from leaking back into the heart. This leakage is called aortic regurgitation. The aortic valve may also become stiff and not open up. This is called aortic stenosis, which causes the heart to pump harder than usual to get blood through the valve. The aorta may become enlarged with this condition.

BAV is more common among males than females.

A BAV often exists in babies with coarctation of the aorta (narrowing of the aorta). BAV is also seen in diseases in which there is a blockage to blood flow on the left side of the heart.

What are the symptoms of Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

Most of the time, BAV is not diagnosed in infants or children because it causes no symptoms. However, the abnormal valve can leak or become narrow over time.

Symptoms of such complications may include:

  • Baby or child tires easily
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Loss of consciousness (fainting)
  • Pale skin

If a baby has other congenital heart problems, they may cause symptoms that will lead to the discovery of a BAV.

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What are the current treatments for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

The infant or child may need surgery to repair or replace a leaky or narrowed valve, if complications are severe.

A narrowed valve can also be opened through cardiac catheterization. A fine tube (catheter) is directed to the heart and into the narrow opening of the aortic valve. A balloon attached to the end of the tube is inflated to make the opening of the valve larger.

In adults, when a bicuspid valve becomes very leaky or very narrowed, it may need to be replaced.

Sometimes the aorta may also need to be repaired if it has become too wide or is too narrow.

Medicine may be needed to relieve symptoms or prevent complications. Medicines may include:

  • Drugs that lower the workload on the heart (beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors)
  • Drugs that make the heart muscle pump harder (inotropic agents)
  • Water pills (diuretics)
Who are the top Bicuspid Aortic Valve Local Doctors?
Highly rated in
Thoracic Surgery
General Surgery

Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital

Chicago, IL 

S Malaisrie is a Thoracic Surgeon and a General Surgeon in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Malaisrie has been practicing medicine for over 24 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Bicuspid Aortic Valve. He is also highly rated in 16 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Aortic Valve Stenosis, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm, and Aortic Dissection. He is board certified in Cardiac Surgery, General Surgery, and Thoracic Surgery and licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Malaisrie is currently accepting new patients.

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University Hospital Vall D'Hebron

Barcelona, CT, ES 

Arturo Evangelista is in Barcelona, Spain. Evangelista is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Bicuspid Aortic Valve. He is also highly rated in 8 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Bicuspid Aortic Valve, Marfan Syndrome, Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm, and Aortic Dissection.

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Highly rated in
Thoracic Surgery
Emergency Medicine

Perelman Center For Advanced Medicine

Philadelphia, PA 

Joseph Bavaria is a Thoracic Surgeon and an Emergency Medicine doctor in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Bavaria has been practicing medicine for over 39 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Bicuspid Aortic Valve. He is also highly rated in 28 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm, Aortic Dissection, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, and Aortic Valve Stenosis. He is board certified in Cardiac Surgery and Thoracic Surgery and licensed to treat patients in Pennsylvania. Dr. Bavaria is currently accepting new patients.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

How well the baby does depends on the presence and severity of complications of BAV.

The presence of other physical problems at birth also can affect how well a baby does.

Most babies with this condition have no symptoms, and the problem is not diagnosed until they are adults. Some people never find out that they have this problem.

What are the possible complications of Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

Complications of BAV include:

  • Heart failure
  • Leakage of blood through the valve back into the heart
  • Narrowing of the valve's opening
  • Infection of the heart muscle or aortic valve
When should I contact a medical professional for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

Call your child's provider if your baby:

  • Has no appetite
  • Has unusually pale or bluish skin
  • Seems to tire easily
How do I prevent Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

BAV runs in families. If you know of this condition in your family, speak to your provider before becoming pregnant. There is no known way to prevent the condition.

What are the latest Bicuspid Aortic Valve Clinical Trials?
UTHealth Turner Syndrome Research Registry
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Evaluation of Aortic Stiffness as a Prognostic Indicator of Aortic Dilatation in Patients With Bicuspid Aortic Valve (BAV) by Multimodal Imaging (MRI, Echocardiography and Ultrafast Ultrasound Imaging)
What are the Latest Advances for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?
Accuracy of stroke volume measurement with phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance in patients with aortic stenosis.
Superior Sinus Venosus Atrial Septal Defect with Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Drainage-Minimally Invasive Approach-Case Report.
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Association Between Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement for Bicuspid vs Tricuspid Aortic Stenosis and Mortality or Stroke Among Patients at Low Surgical Risk.
What are our references for Bicuspid Aortic Valve?

Borger MA, Fedak PWM, Stephens EH, et al. AATS consensus guidelines on bicuspid aortic valve-related aortopathy: full online only version. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2018;156(2):e41-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2018.02.115. PMID: 30011777 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30011777/.

Braverman AC, Cheng A. The bicuspid aortic valve and associated aortic disease. In: Otto CM, Bonow RO, eds. Valvular Heart Disease: A Companion to Braunwald's Heart Disease. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 11.

Fraser CD, Cameron DE, McMillan KN, Vricella LA. Heart disease and connective tissue disorders. In: Ungerleider RM, Meliones JN, McMillian KN, Cooper DS, Jacobs JP, eds. Critical Heart Disease in Infants and Children. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 53.

Lindman BR, Bonow RO, Otto CM. Aortic valve disease. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 68.