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Aortic Stenosis Aortic stenosis is a heart valve disorder that narrows or obstructs the aortic valve opening. Narrowing of the aortic valve prevents the valve from opening properly and obstructs the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta. This can reduce the amount of blood that flows forward to the body. As the aortic valve becomes more narrow, the pressure increases inside the left heart ventricle. This causes the left heart ventricle to become thicker, which decreases blood flow and can lead to chest pain. As the pressure continues to increase, blood may back up into the lungs, and you may feel short of breath. Severe forms of aortic stenosis prevent enough blood from reaching the brain and rest of the body. Lightheadedness and fainting can result. LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD Stenosis of aortic valve Normal aortic valve