A patient with valvular heart disease comes to the emergency department with reports of syncope and dyspnea on exertion. The nurse suspects
• Aortic stenosis refers to the narrowing of the aortic valve. This causes reduced cardiac output and increased left ventricle pressure.
• With exertion, the heart cannot increase cardiac output because of a narrow aortic valve. This can cause syncope due to insufficient perfusion to the brain when it needs the extra oxygen. Syncope is a hallmark sign of aortic stenosis.
• Incorrect: Aortic regurgitation, mitral stenosis, and mitral regurgitation do not cause syncope.