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Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Bicuspid aortic valve is a type of abnormality in the aortic valve which is one of four valves in the heart. In a bicuspid aortic valve, the valve has only two small leaflets, instead of the normal three. This condition can be present from birth, often referred to as ‘congenital’.

Bicuspid aortic valve is the commonest congenital cardiac abnormality with an estimated prevalence of 1-2% of the population but is almost three times more common in males than females. Some people never learn about their condition, while others can develop serious, even life-threatening complications unless treated.

A bicuspid aortic valve may cause the heart's aortic valve to narrow and this narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or blocks blood flow from the heart to the body. In some cases, the aortic valve doesn't close completely, causing blood to leak back into the left ventricle.

Many clinicians refer to bicuspid aortic valves as having three different types of configuration

"Real" bicuspid valves with two symmetric leaflets

A tricuspid architecture with a fusion of two leaflets

A tricuspid architecture with a fusion of three leaflets