Dear Bicuspid Aortic Foundation,
In 2007, physicians from London's heart hospital wrote about two men with BAV, raising a similar concern in this paper: An undiagnosed bicuspid aortic valve can result in severe left ventricular failure .
From the authors' discussion, "Our cases highlight the potential complications of a bicuspid valve, which could have been prevented by regular monitoring and earlier surgery. Avoiding urgent and emergency surgery has advantages in terms of surgical mortality (perioperative mortality for first time aortic valve replacement in the United Kingdom: emergency surgery 12%; urgent 5%; elective 1.9%; personal communication, Bruce Keogh, Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons and AD Cunningham, Central Cardiac Audit Database) and the longer term effects of ventricular impairment. Bicuspid valves are present in many people who were reassured in early life or lost to follow-up and in many “healthy” middle aged men whose hearts have never been examined."
This baby grew up to have an experience
similar to the builder described above, with
one important difference - his heart fully
recovered after valve replacement surgery.
And for parents of children with BAV or even seemingly innocent heart murmurs, do all you can to be sure they are not "lost to follow up". It just might make all the difference between disability, even death, and continuing a normal, active life.