Heart & Cardiology/Concern on echo
QUESTION: I'm 53 and had a recent 2-D echo and nuclear stress test. My Summary is Normal LVEF >60% No functionlly significant valvular abnormalties. However, the mitral valve is mildly thickened with mild annular calification. The aortic valve is mildly calcified leaflets with mild aortic root calcification. The tricuspid valve is mildly thickened.I had trivial regurgitation. My nuclear stress test was all normal. Normal left ventricular size and motion. Ejection fraction greater than 70%. I understand this is sclerosis and not stenosis. Is this correct? I'm very concerned about this. I've always exercised & ate a healthy diet. How common is this in a 53 year old woman. What exactly does this indicate? Anything I can do to reverse this?
Good news for you really, these findings are nothing to be concerned about and you have no significant valvular heart disease, and excellent cardiac function. The findings are likely normal age related findings and they are not of concern so i wouldn't worry about having to reverse anything. I wouldn't be concerned if i were you and would just continue to have routine check ups.
Hope that was helpful,
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QUESTION: I had googled about this and I understood that this occurs mostly in people over 65. So, I worry as to why I would get this in my early 50's. I haven't heard of anyone else my age talk about this finding on their echo report. Is this a indicator for CAD? How likely is this to progress?
Aortic sclerosis is more common with aging, and is seen in around 1 in 4 people over the age of 65. While I'm not typically surprised to see someone in their early 50's have this, i would be if i saw this in someone in their 20's. It is basically an age related degenerative process, similar to the way in which our joints wear and tear with age. Whereas in a younger person it may represent some form of inflammatory process.
There is some evidence that the presence of aortic valve sclerosis is associated with an increased chance of having coronary artery disease. Its also not unreasonable to suggest that AVS could be used in concert with other factors such as family history and other medical conditions to help risk‐stratify patients and delineate how aggressive lifestyle and medical interventions should be pursued to prevent progression to clinically apparent coronary disease. Although i wouldn't suggest that a patient with aortic sclerosis routinely undergo testing for coronary disease in the absence of symptoms.
In summary, i wouldn't worry too much about the presence of aortic sclerosis in your early 50's, it is not uncommon. I would pay attention to risk factors for coronary artery disease such as cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, blood pressure etc..and treat these appropriately.
Hope that was helpful,