Recent Blog Articles

Ask the doctor: Does narrowing of the aortic valve get better on its own?

April 01, 2009

Ask the doctor

Does narrowing of the aortic valve get better on its own?

Q. Does mild aortic stenosis (causing a mild heart murmur) ever correct itself without medication or surgery?

A. Aortic stenosis refers to a narrowing of the aortic valve. This valve acts like a one-way gate between the heart's main pumping chamber, the left ventricle, and the aorta, the main pipeline through which oxygenated blood is distributed to the body. In some people, calcium accumulates in the valve, gradually thickening and stiffening the leaflets, the working part of the valve. This narrows the opening through which blood can pass. A murmur indicates turbulent blood flow from the force needed to push blood through the narrowed aortic valve or from blood flowing backward through a valve that can't close completely.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.