My son was sent to see a pediatric cardiologist for a heart murmur but during the visit the doctor told me not to worry about the heart murmur that had not been discovered before. He then told me that he wanted to run another test on my son. After the test he came back in the room and told me that my son's aortic valve velocity should be 0 and his is at a mercury level of 12 through the valve. He told me have him re-checked in 18 months and walked out. What does this mean he gave no explanation.
When an echocardiogram is performed, flow velocities are measured across the heart valves. That flow velocity can be put in an equation to get an estimate of blockage of a valve. In real life, a normal valve has no pressure gradient across it (so zero), but by echo even a normal aortic valve has a velocity that converts to an instantaneous gradient of 5 to 10 mmHg. So when your doctor says the number is "12" that is nothing major. What is more important is knowing whether the aortic valve has any structural abnormality (like 2 leaflets instead of 3). In that case, follow up may be indicated. If you are dissatisfied with the interaction that you had with this physician, then seek an opinion elsewhere.
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