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Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Open BAV

The opening of a BAV resembles the open mouth of a fish, leading to the term “fish mouth” valve.
BAV, Other Valves, and Problems  of the Heart Mitral and Pulmonary Valves There may be issues, not just with the aortic valve, but also with other valves in the heart: The mitral valve may have weak tissue and begin to leak (myxomatous changes). There are also questions about the pulmonary valve, and whether or not its tissue is affected. It is located in a low- pressure position in the right heart and may continue to function well there. The Coronary Arteries What is commonly called heart disease is plaque build up in the coronary arteries. Generally, those with bicuspid aortic valves are not prone to this plaque build up, and their coronary arteries remain open. However, bicuspid aortic valve patients who also are smokers or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or atherosclerosis may develop coronary artery blockages.  Other Heart Problems Sometimes other congenital heart defects may be present, such as an atrial septal defect (an opening in the wall between the collecting chambers of the heart). Also BAV patients may have conduction abnormalities (electrical conduction, such as an irregular heartbeat). These conditions require appropriate, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for some BAV patients.  
Bicuspid Aortic Valve

Closed BAV

When closed, it may be difficult to distinguish a BAV from an aortic valve with all three leaflets.
Tricuspid Aortic Valve

Closed TAV

A normal aortic valve has three leaflets or cusps. Pictured here is a TAV with the leaflets closed.  The opening of a TAV is shaped like a triangle.
Aortic Aneurysm

The aorta in those from BAV families may be enlarged and balloon out, which is called an aneurysm.
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