What does mild thickening/mild aortic regurgitation mean?  I have HELLP syndrome.

I am a healthy, athletic 38-year-old woman. One year ago, I had a baby and suffered from HELLP syndrome. My blood pressure was high for awhile, but is now below normal without the use of medications. However, right after I had the baby, I had an echo test done to my heart. The only abnormality was a “mildly thickened aortic valve (the non-coronary leaflet is mildly thickened resulting in mild aortic regurgitation.)” What does this mean, can this issue reverse itself and what is my prognosis? Thank you.

Submitted by Sally from Nebraska on 10/04/2014

by Raymond F. Stainback, MD  

For a mildly thickened aortic valve cusp and mild aortic regurgitation (AR) in a 38-year-old female, the prognosis is good. Mild AR is of no hemodynamic significance and a small area of aortic cusp thinking is not an unusual incidental finding. It would not be unreasonable to have a follow up echocardiogram in 1 year to ensure stability. Aortic regurgitation can also appear more prominent on an echo study when the blood pressure is elevated & there is a chance it may appear less than mild on follow up if the BP was elevated on the prior study. Otherwise there is no known association between aortic valve disease & HELLP syndrome. I hope that you & your baby are both well after going through this.