Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Bicuspid aortic valve
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Bicuspid aortic valve

I recently discovered that my fourteen year old son has a bicuspid aortic valve.  He had been experiencing quite a few episodes of tightening in his chest, trouble breathing and rapid heart beat so we took him to the emergency room.. they told me that he was fine and we could go home.  I insisted that they check further and they ordered an echocardiogram which showed that he had this condition.  They say that is nothing to worry about but he seems to be having more and more of these experiences and I wonder if we should worry.  
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A bicuspid aortic valve is a common congenital heart valve abnormality where the aortic valve has 2 functional leaflets instead of 3.  These valves may function well, or may have varying degrees of blockage and/or leakage.  Without having further information about his emergency room visit, it is hard to know if he was tested for cardiac causes of chest pain.  Regardless, he should have an official thorough evaluation by a cardiologist, preferably one with knowledge of congenital heart conditions, especialy if his symptoms are ongoing.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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