About 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 in the tricuspid. 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 Aortic Stenosis where the heart’s aortic valve narrows. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or blocks blood flow from the heart to the body. Other cases, the bicuspid aortic valve regurgitates meaning the aortic valve doesn’t close completely, causing blood to leak back into the left ventricle.

Patient Story: Derrick

In 2019, 57-year-old Derrick Johns found out he had a heart murmur. After further tests, he was diagnosed with aortic stenosis with a bicuspid aortic valve. A keen cyclist, Derrick had experienced no symptoms. However, his valve disease began to deteriorate, and he required urgent intervention. Despite the pressure COVID-19 has placed on the health service and delays to his surgery, Derrick received has now recieved life-saving treatment and is now looking forward to the rest of his life.

Read Derrick’s story in full…