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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-46

Low-Gradient aortic stenosis; the diagnostic dilemma

1 Department of Adult Cardiology, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Non-Invasive Cardiology, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mansour Al Shehadat
Department of Non-Invasive Cardiology, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, P.O. Box 3050, Doha,
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/heartviews.heartviews_33_22

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Low-gradient (LG) aortic valve stenosis (AS) constitutes a significant subset among patients with severe aortic stenosis. This entity represents one of the most challenging heart conditions when it comes to diagnosis and management, mainly because of the discrepancy between the small aortic valve area (≤1.0 cm2) that is considered a severe AS, and low mean transvalvular pressure gradient (<40 mmHg), which is one of the criteria for nonsevere AS. LG AS is divided according to transvalvular aortic flow rate into normal-flow LG AS and low-flow LG (LFLG) AS; the latter category can be divided further according to left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) into classical LFLG AS if LVEF is depressed or paradoxical LFLG AS if LVEF is preserved. The primary diagnostic challenge in patients with LG AS is to confirm that AS is truly severe and not pseudosevere, which is assessed mainly by either dobutamine stress echocardiography or multidetector computed tomography. The management of symptomatic true severe LG AS is mainly by aortic valve replacement (AVR), whether surgical or transcatheter approach. Patients with LG severe AS have a generally worse prognosis and higher mortality compared with patients with high-gradient severe AS. Despite the survival benefit of AVR in patients with true severe LG AS, these patients have higher surgical risk post-AVR compared with high-gradient AS patients. Early recognition and correct diagnosis of a patient with LG AS is crucial to improve their mortality and morbidity.

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