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AF Association
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afib and heart valve defect

Hi everyone,anyone else got the same as me? I have a bicuspid aortic valve,which I was told yesterday after an echo and 24 hr holter. What does that mean? 985 of people in the Uk have 3 flaps in their aortic valve,'Tricuspid' and I have only 2. This means the 2 flaps works harder,especially with high blood pressure which I have had for a while now.

I also have Afib,again told yesterday.I thought it was just palpitations through stress, as we have had silly levels of that for 2 years in this house.

I am really freaked out as I lost my dear mum 18 months ago with heart failure, and a stroke after out of control Afib. and feeling a bit sorry for myself!

I have been given betablockers to. 'slow down heart rate' havent picked them up yet.How do people find these?

Are there any other rare birds out there?

6 Replies

Regardless of any valvular oddities, with your family history I would want to discuss anticoagulation as soon as possible. AF make one five times more at risk of stroke and accounts for a large percentage of strokes and you really need to look into this. Have a look at the main AF Association website and look at CHADSVASC to work out your risk factor.


Thank you Bob I shall raise it next week when I go for the follow up 24 hr Holter thing. I will browse the AF association site next. My family history gets worse,as Mum died from stroke, dad has had triple bypass and has a replacement valve,and has also had 3 strokes.( and my maternal granma and paternal grandad!) what an inheritance.

It struck me yesterday that it maybe shouldnt have taken the fainting episodes for investigations to be done,surely I was/am a high risk?

thanks again for you time and support


Not quite the same as you, but I was born with a defective aortic valve and was in my 50s before it needed replacement. Two and a half years on and I feel fitter than for several years before I had it fixed. Have they said whether the valve needs repair/replacement yet or at all? You will have been born with the bicuspid valve. Do you have heart problems apart from the AF?

My AF started about 10 years ago but no one has ever been sure whether the valve caused the AF or the AF contributed to the deterioration in my valve. Chicken and egg.

On Bisoprolol (beta blocker) since just before the valve was replaced. Suits me fine but others get side effects.


Hello there,thank you for this.They say the longstanding high BP I have had has been a factor,but apart from that the rest of the heart seems ok. They havent indicated a repair or replacment yet,but I have to go back for another 24 hr Holter thing next week and see Doc after. The AF episodes triggered a referral to the cardio team as I was fainting quite regularly. I'm glad the Bisoprolol helps,took first one yesterday and today ..so far so good! I remember my mum took it and never reported any probs so fingers crossed.

Thank you again ,you have cheered me up a lot! Keep taking the tablets as they say!


Hi, yes I also have a bicuspid aortic valve, mine was diagnosed after my first AF episode (11 years ago when I was 39) and I was sent for tests. I've been having follow up echos every 2 years now (initially 3) and last year was told the valve was 'mildly leaky'. My EP said it should be ok for another 10 to 15 years though. I'm not really having any symptoms with it, although I would say I have some degree of exercise intolerance, and my heart feels like it's going to flip into AF unless I take it really slowly when I start exercising. It's ok once I get the rate up though.

You would think with your family history that your doctor should have had you checked out earlier. I've had both my kids checked and luckily they both have normal valves.

As mrspat said above, it makes you wonder whether the valve could have brought on the AF. I often think the AF was meant to alert me to the valve problem.

Wishing you all the best and do let us know how you get on with the tests.



thank you for this,its reassuring that I have very similar symptoms as yourself,'flippy' incidents if I rush upstairs with a load of washing etc.I am annoyed now that GP didn't think to offer tests after Mum died, and knowing that dad also has heart problems. It just didn't occur to me that I might have inherited anything as I felt fine mostly.Idiot! I do feel better since starting the bisopropol . I am wearing the lovely Holter device for 48 hours over this weekend and back to see cardio doc next week,shall update.

One of my children had an echo done a few years ago following an episode of tachycardia where he was' blue lighted' in from college,didn't show any structural issues but he does have an irregular heartbeat.trying to persuade other son to get checked out currently.

I agree with you and mrspat,the AF made me stop and think 'ooh er whats going on here then' and as you say,then instigated investigations which showed up the valve issue.

Thank you for taking the time to reply it has helped a lot,especially with the tips on exercising.


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