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Question:

From a severity standpoint, is it okay to wait 6 weeks to have this evaluated?

55 year old male. Transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) shows heavily calcified aortic valve with area of increased focal calcification and fusion of the left and right cusps (bicuspid). Mild to moderate regurgitation. Dilated left atrium. I have SOB (shortness of breath) and fatigue. Won’t see cardiologist for month and half. Curious to severity of the above.

Submitted by Aubrey from Virginia on 02/08/2014

Answer:
by Michael J. Mihalick, MD

Dear Aubrey,
It sounds like your shortness of breath may be due to the valve disease. If so, surgical replacement is indicated. This needs to be confirmed by a cardiologist who will most likely recommend a catheterization to confirm the echo findings, but more importantly to see if significant coronary artery disease or any other cardiac condition is present that would affect the type of surgery that needs to be done and the associated risk/benefit in your particular case. Waiting a few weeks will probably not make a difference, but once surgery is recommended it should be done promptly.