Aortic valve diseases, including aortic valve stenosis (narrowed valve opening) and aortic valve regurgitation (leaking valve), require evaluation and management by a cardiologist. Serious conditions may require surgery to repair or replace the aortic valve.
Duke’s aortic valve disease specialists use advanced testing to identify the severity of your condition and offer the latest medical and surgical treatments. Our goal is to help you feel better and return you to your normal activities.
Duke Health offers heart clinics in Durham, Raleigh, Cary, and other locations throughout North Carolina. Find one near you.
Tests for Aortic Valve Disease
Depending in your condition, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate and identify aortic valve disease.
Small electrodes are placed on your skin to record your heart’s electrical impulses. The tracings may help identify risk for or prior heart muscle damage.
An ultrasound probe is moved over the surface of your chest to capture moving images of your heart. This allows us to determine your heart’s chamber dimensions, shape, valve structures, and overall function.
3-D Transesophageal Echocardiogram
An ultrasound probe passed through your esophagus is used to capture sound waves that create highly detailed, close-up 3-D images of your heart’s chamber dimensions, shape, valve structures, and overall function.
Radio waves, magnets, and a computer create still and moving images of your overall heart structure, heart muscle function, blood vessels, and surrounding structures.
Flexible tubes called catheters are guided through a blood vessel to your heart to look for blockages and overall heart function. Contrast dye is injected and X-rays are taken to capture images of your heart, coronary arteries, and other blood vessels.
Congenital heart conditions such as Marfan, Ehlers-Danlos, and Loeys-Dietz syndromes can increase your risk for aortic valve disease. Comprehensive genetic testing and screening can help determine the best treatment approach for you and may help ensure the early diagnosis of your family members.
Why Choose Duke
More Experience, Better Outcomes
As a high-volume center, we have extensive experience and consistently excellent outcomes with transcatheter aortic valve replacement, a minimally invasive alternative to open heart surgery.
More Minimally Invasive Treatments
Our heart surgeons offer minimally invasive techniques in which the surgeon reaches and repairs the aortic valve through small incisions -- which may reduce blood loss, scarring, and the risk of infection while speeding your recovery.
A Choice of Heart Valve Replacements
If you need a heart valve replacement, we offer mechanical valves made of carbon, as well as tissue valves made from animal tissue. We screen and educate you on the best alternative for your needs and lifestyle.
When it comes to your heart care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2020–2021.
Clinical Trials Access
As a Duke patient, you may be able to participate in clinical trials or therapies related to your particular needs and conditions that may not be available at other centers.
Support for Your Recovery
Our cardiac prevention and cardiac rehabilitation program gives you a personalized plan for recovery after surgery and long-term management of your heart health. Your program includes exercise instruction, nutritional counseling, and lifestyle modification to optimize your health.