Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

What is aortic stenosis?

It is a narrowing in the heart valve that exits blood to the body. 

Is aortic stenosis common?

Yes. It is commonly diagnosed in the eighth decade of life and affects nearly 6 million people worldwide.

How is aortic stenosis diagnosed?

It is diagnosed by the presence of symptoms combined with cardiac ultrasound measurements.

What causes aortic stenosis?

Aortic stenosis is a process that happens slowly over the years. However, recent studies suggest there is an inflammatory connection. It's been attributed to smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes. 

I have symptoms of shortness of breath but I don't have a cardiologist. How can I get one?

Jefferson cardiologists treat some of the most complex and malignant cases of heart and vascular disease, which are often referred or transferred from other hospitals in the region. Visit our Cardiology Department webpage to determine if a cardiologist is right for you.

I have aortic stenosis, How do I know when it is appropriate to see a TAVR team?

Referral to a TAVR clinic is appropriate at the time of diagnosis in order to help prevent consequences of heart failure.

What if I don't choose a replacement therapy for my aortic stenosis?

Once symptoms develop, patients have a greater risk for mortality. Heart failure is the major consequence of aortic stenosis. Medications can be used to manage symptoms, but valve replacement is essential.

How do I qualify for TAVR?

TAVR is FDA-approved for people with "intermediate," "high-risk" or "inoperable" aortic stenosis. Your comprehensive heart team of cardiothoracic surgeons, interventional cardiologists and advanced practice professionals will determine if you qualify for the procedure.

Is TAVR right for me?

We believe in a holistic and personalized TAVR approach, which means we'll include you in the decision-making process.

How do I make an appointment? 

For questions or help making an appointment call Rebecca Marcantuono, CRNP, at 215-955-2918, or click to talk to a JEFF NOW® representative.