One of your family members has been diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve. What does this mean for you and the rest of your family?
A bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is a congenital abnormality of the aortic valve that is hereditary in nature. If someone in your family has BAV, there is an approximately 1 in 10 chance someone else in the family may have this, too. Lurie Children’s and the American Heart Association recommend that other family members be screened for BAV.
Current recommendations are that all first-degree relatives — parents and siblings — of a person diagnosed with BAV should be screened. If diagnosed early, BAV can be managed prior to causing symptoms or complications.
Again, many individuals with BAV do not experience symptoms until they begin to have complications, so a screening ECHO is recommended since early diagnosis is key to preventing complications.
Screening for BAV requires undergoing an echocardiogram, or heart ultrasound. This test is painless and uses ultrasound waves to receive images of the heart. The images are read by a Lurie Children’s specialist to determine if your child has BAV.
We offer a unique approach to comprehensive care for children and their families affected by BAV. Our team of cardiac surgeons, cardiologists and nurses offer advanced medical and surgical treatment options, including: