Aortic stenosis is an affectation of the valve which is in the left ventricular outflow and consists of a narrowing and a reduction of its functional diameter.
In order to understand the impact of this situation, we must remind some basic concepts.
What are the valves of the heart and what are their functions?
Heart is the organ responsible to pump blood to all organs and tissues of the body. Anatomically, it is divided in four chambers: two ventricles and two atria. At the outflow of each of them there is a valve, whose function is to allow the blood flow, but it does not let blood to flow to the other side, entering again in such chamber.
There are four heart valves: 8th aortic of the left ventricle, the mitral valve (at the left atrium outflow), pulmonary valve (at the right atrium outflow) and the tricuspid valve (at the right atrium outflow).
What kind of problems might appear on the heart valves?
It is easy to understand that valves might suffer two kinds of problems.
First of all, there are occasions where valves do not stop blood to enter again the chamber that is leaving. In those cases we talk about failure or regurgitation (mitral, atrium, pulmonary or tricuspid valves).
In the second place, heart valves might suffer a narrowing (also known as stenosis), that causes blood to have a partial obstruction when leaving the affected chamber, causing different problems in terms of aortic stenosis, mitral stenosis, tricuspid stenosis or pulmonary stenosis.
Therefore, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of such valve, which has an impact on the proper functioning of the heart, which can be classified as mild, moderate or severe.