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Symptoms of Aortic Stenosis

Most children with aortic stenosis do not have any symptoms. They may have no noticeable problems unless the stenosis gets worse.

If children do have symptoms, they may include:

  • Feeling short of breath when active
  • Having pain, pressure or tightness in their chest
  • Fainting or feeling weak or dizzy when active
  • Having palpitations  

Babies born with severe aortic stenosis may have to work hard to breathe, have poor appetite or trouble feeding, and failure to thrive.

They may also show signs of shock because their heart cannot pump enough blood to the rest of their body. Signs of cardiogenic shock include:

  • Less frequent urination (peeing)
  • Cool limbs (arms and legs)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fussiness
  • Poor feeding
  • Rapid breathing
  • Lethargy (lack of energy)
  • Mottled skin (discolored skin)

Aortic Stenosis Diagnosis

To diagnose aortic stenosis, your doctor will examine your child, use a stethoscope to listen to their heart, and check their blood pressure. Sometimes, doctors find aortic stenosis after hearing a heart murmur in a child who appears well.

The doctor will ask for details about any symptoms your child has, their health history and your family health history.

If your child has aortic stenosis, an echocardiogram will be done to evaluate the stenosis and to see how their heart works.

Your child may need other tests that provide more information about their heart. These include chest X-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the heart,  cardiac catheterization and electrocardiogram.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

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Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)