Do thickened heart valves need treatment?

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Submitted by Dr T on July 5, 2011 – 9:25am

76 yrs. no meds. walk on treadmill 1/2 hr.every other day. 5 years ago diagnosed with lbbb no problem, this year 2 thickening valves and I assume that means leaking.  What causes it besides age and how can I slow progession of it, no symptoms.  Can they fix now and not wait for a replacement valve and if that happens do I have to take cumiden or such the rest of my  life?

Thickening heart valves may eventually lead to problems with either stenosis or insufficiency (too narrow, or to wide an opening). If there was a problem with the function of your heart valves, your tests (usually a cardiac ECHO) would have shown that, and you would have symptoms such as shortness of breath, decreased exercise capacity or fatigue.
You can read more here about valves, heart conduction and cardiac ECHOs here:
Since the tests must have shown normal function and you are asymptomatic, there is no special treatment necessary, other than to follow this ECHO with regular follow-up studies. Of course, if you develop symptoms as mentioned above this may change.
Hope this helps,
Dr T

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