Information about children with bicuspid aortic valves is available at the websites for Pediatric Heart Specialists and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Both sites provide information about the cause of the condition, common symptoms, diagnostic procedures and treatment options.
A bicuspid aortic valve is a common congenital heart defect that occurs when an aortic valve does not form properly while the baby is in the womb. In children with this defect, the heart only has two leaflets, the mechanisms that open to let blood in and close to keep blood from flowing out, instead of the normal three leaflets. Symptoms are not seen in children unless the bicuspid aortic valve leads to blockage or leakage of blood, reports C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Children with this defect also have an increased chance of getting an infection of the heart from bacteria in the blood, called subacute bacterial endocarditis.
Usually, symptoms of the bicuspid aortic valve do not show up in children unless severe leakage or blockage is occurring. Doctors discover the defect by first noticing a heart murmur. An echocardiogram is then used to investigate the heart murmur and often picks up the presence of a bicuspid aortic valve. The defect does not require any treatment unless severe leakage or blockage occurs, according to Pediatric Heart Specialists.