Look for the Bulge!
Aneurysms in BAV
In 2007, a paper was
published about 13 families
with BAV: “Familial thoracic
aortic dilation and
bicommissural aortic valve:
A prospective analysis of
natural history and
It is important to note in
this paper that in all 13
families, at least one
person had an ascending
aortic aneurysm with a
three-leaflet aortic valve
Dissection or rupture
occurred in some of
those tri-leaflet valve
Bicuspid Aortic Valves are Present at Birth
The Most Common Birth Defect in the Heart
A “Fish Mouth” Aortic Valve
If you were born with a bicuspid aortic valve, you are
not alone. Better statistics are needed, but it is
estimated that about 1 in 50 people are born with a
bicuspid aortic valve. In the United States, a child is
born with BAV every 7 minutes.
A bicuspid aortic valve is an aortic valve with only two
leaflets instead of three. Current clinical and scientific
studies are revealing that bicuspid aortic disease is
not a simple valve condition. It increasingly appears to
be a genetically based connective tissue disorder.
There are other malformations of the aortic valve
leaflets also, which are more rare. Sometimes the
leaflet is just a circle of tissue - a unicuspid valve.
Four leaflets have also been found - a quadricuspid
Sometimes the fusion of the leaflets is so slight it is
hard to detect. However, any malformation of the
aortic valve leaflets is abnormal, however slight.
As a genetic condition, it may affect multiple family
members. Some affected family members have
bicuspid aortic valves, and some have normal-
appearing trileaflet aortic valves.
As highlighted in the information on the right,
regardless of the number of aortic valve leaflets, all
family members should be checked periodically to
avoid serious, potentially life-threatening
complications of the aorta and vessels of the head
Creating a Climate of Hope, an Atmosphere of Caring, and Information for All
BAV is Common
An estimated 1 in 50
people are born with
It is very likely that you
know someone with BAV.
It could even exist in your
family or extended family
without you knowing
A child is born with BAV
every 7 minutes in the