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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 Patterns BAV is different in different people, but there are some patterns. For those who have a bicuspid aortic valve, it is not a uniform condition. It is different in different people. However, there are some sub-groups that are beginning to emerge. One group includes those who are younger, (in their 20's or 30's), and have aortic valve insufficiency (leakage) and an ascending aortic aneurysm. It appears that this group has more fragile tissue in the heart valves, aorta, and possibly other arteries. Another group are those, ranging in age from about 40 to 60, who develop aortic valve calcification and stenosis (narrowing). Many develop consistently high blood pressure or high blood pressure that rises and falls quickly (labile hypertension), while a very few have normal blood pressure. Some information is emerging about BAV in children, but much more information is needed. More information is also needed about those with trileaflet aortic valves in these families. 
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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