Fetal Aortic Valve Stenosis
Fetal aortic valve stenosis is a cardiac defect that occurs when the fetus’ s aortic valve, located between the left ventricle and aorta, is unable to open completely. It allows for blood to flow out of the left ventricle causing the right ventricle to enlarge. This can result in poor fetal growth due to the changes in blood flow.
In some cases of aortic stenosis, there may be a reduction in blood flow into the left ventricle. This may halt the heart’s growth, resulting in a severe form of congenital heart disease called hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
Aortic valve stenosis can be identified by fetal echocardiogram as early as 14 weeks’ gestation but is most commonly picked up at the anatomy scan around 20 weeks.
Mild forms of aortic valve stenosis may only require careful observation but if severe, the left ventricle can become dilated and dysfunctional. When this happens, post-delivery treatment is necessary.
*diagnostic information provided courtesy of our partners at Colorado Fetal Care Center
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