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HRM13, March 12,  2021  11:37am EST

Possible Aortic Stenosis

Last year my 67 year old sister died during surgery to replace her aortic valve. They were unable to get her heart started again after the surgery. Apparently she had damage that didn't show up on any of the pre-op tests. When she was first diagnosed, her cardiologist told her that her immediate family should get checked for aortic stenosis becuase the risk is higher. It was determined that she had a bicuspid valve. The only symptom my sister had was shortness of breath with exercise, but she didn't get a lot of exercie so she assumed she was out of shape. The disease was only discovered when she was getting ready to have surgery for a broken shoulder.

I had an appointment with my GP yesterday because of persistant dizziness that I've had for about 3 weeks (I thought perhaps I might have an ear or sinus infection), and for a checkup since I haven't had one in a while. I have several symptoms that could be due to AS, but they could also be due to something else like age (I'm 63) or obesity (I'm working on that one!) - shortness of breath, especially with exertion or exercise (lifting and carrying a case of water just a few feet, or walking up stairs); heart palpitations that I've had off and on for years, and extreme fatigue. They did an EKG and I was told I have Left Bundle Branch Block, which I knew from a priot EKG about 3 years ago. He said it has not changed since then. He listened to my heart but was unable to detect a murmur. He did say some of my symptoms could be due to a thyroid issue; I had a partial thyroidectemy 30 years ago due to a benign cold nodule but have never had low levels when tested since then.

I will be seeing a cardiologist two weeks from today and will know more then, but I guess my question or concern right now is how likely is it that I have AS considering my family history, my symptoms, the LBBB -  but no murmur. Has anyone else been diagnosed with AS and NOT had a murmur? 

I don't normally worry too much about health issues but after what happened to my sister I guess I'm a little nervous and two weeks seems like a long time!


1 Reply
  • AHAModerator
    AHAModerator, March 12,  2021  4:44pm EST

    Hi there, 

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with the Support Network. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister. I hope you can discover a sense of community and comfort here. 

    I am happy to hear that you will be meeting with a cardiologist very soon. That sounds like the right next step. However, if you begin to feel like something is really not feeling right, it's never a bad idea to go to the hospital or urgent care.

    I am not a medical professional, unfortunately, but I can share some resources with you about Aortic Stenosis Symptoms and an Overview of Aortic Stenosis.

    Please keep us updated on how you are feeling!

    Best wishes,

    AHA Moderator 

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