17yo with aortic regurgitation now getting short of breath at basketball



Hello new worried mum here. Daughter was diagnosed with mild aortic regurgitation during a research project her school participated in about 10 years ago. They werent really sure for a long time what was wrong with her aortic valve but have settled on the diagnosis of bicuspid aortic valve that might need replacing when she is about 60.
She has been having echos every 2 years last one was march this year and we were told no changes from previous echos. For the last few months she was occasionally getting what we thought was asthma/short of breath during basketball games but the last few weeks it has started happening every game. I took her to the doctor who did an ECG which showed left ventricular hypertrophy. Now we are waiting for a cardiac appointment.
What can we expect from here? I am hoping the ECG is wrong and that it is only asthma. 6 months ago there was no hypertrophy, and mild aortic regurgitation, is it possible for it to worsen that quickly?


Well-known member
Nov 4, 2012
Queensland, Australia
Dear Worried Mum

Don't be too worried, you can expect a number of tests to make a determination of what to properly do. The opinions you've been given are quite possible (meaning nothing happens for years), and without knowing more I'd say it may be close to time. What ever is the test findings, when its time then its time, so don't put it off for reasons of uncertainty.

Surgery is not to be feared. I've had OHS three times in my life and have gone on to lead a good and happy life. Modern science (no thanks to religion) has made iterative improvements and steps to make every part of the process both well understood and provides good outcomes. Its (as far as I know) the most successful medical intervention in our entire repertoire.

Here is a post I wrote some years back here to another worried mum. I hope it provides you some solace.


Be strong and don't be afraid to actually join here and indeed read some of the posts here. The rule is people are super anxious at the start and report "well it wasn't that bad after all" when done. As always fear itself is the only thing to fear.

Best Wishes


Well-known member
Oct 3, 2009
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
Difficult to say what is causing the left ventricular hypertrophy. The best you can do is follow the testing and recommendations of the medical professionals you're working with, and if you question their competence, find new ones.

At this point, one has to be grateful that something was noticed and is being followed. Far too many high school athletes find out too late. Sometimes it's as simple as being aware, finding the right medication if appropriate, and effectively managing activities.

I concur with pellicle's comments on surgery. It is a big hurdle if you have to face it. But most of us do go on to lead fairly normal lives. If we weren't walking around with shirts off, or if we didn't tell you - you would never know that we had surgery. I've had two. One at 17 and the most recent at 36. Yet I'm a happily married father of five. I run between three and five miles at least four days a week now. Have a normal full time job. I'm an adjunct professor. Just enjoying life.