Is aortic valve calcification a sign I am developing heart disease?
Answer From Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.
The aortic valve is between the lower left heart chamber and the body’s main artery (aorta). Aortic valve calcification is a condition in which calcium deposits form on the aortic valve. These deposits can cause the valve opening to become narrow. Severe narrowing can reduce blood flow through the aortic valve — a condition called aortic valve stenosis.
Aortic valve calcification may be an early sign of heart disease, even if there aren’t any other heart disease symptoms.
Calcification and stenosis generally affect older adults. When it occurs in younger people, it’s often caused by:
- A heart defect that’s present at birth (congenital heart defect)
- Other illnesses, such as kidney failure
Aortic valve sclerosis — thickening and stiffness of the valve and mild aortic calcification — usually doesn’t cause significant heart problems. But it requires regular checkups to make sure the condition isn’t worsening. If the valve becomes severely narrowed (stenotic), aortic valve replacement surgery may be necessary.
Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, M.D.
From Mayo Clinic to your inbox
Sign up for free, and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips and current health topics, like COVID-19, plus expertise on managing health.
To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which
information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with
other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could
include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected
health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health
information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of
privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on
the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.
Thank you for subscribing
Our Housecall e-newsletter will keep you up-to-date on the latest health information.
Sorry something went wrong with your subscription
Please, try again in a couple of minutes
July 09, 2022
- Gaasch WH, et al. Natural history, epidemiology, and prognosis of aortic stenosis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed April 1, 2022.
- Naish J, et al., eds. The cardiovascular system. In: Medical Sciences. 3rd ed. Elsevier; 2019. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 31, 2022.
- Dweck M, et al. Aortic valve stenosis and pathogenesis of calcified aortic stenosis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed April 1, 2022.
- Otto CM, et al. 2020 ACC/AHA Guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2021; doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2020.11.018.
- AskMayoExpert. Aortic stenosis (adult). Mayo Clinic; 2021.
- Dweck M, et al. Aortic valve sclerosis and pathogenesis of calcific aortic stenosis. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed April 1, 2022.