A bicuspid aortic valve occurs in 1-2 percent of the male population, the aortic valve having only two leaflets rather than the normal number of three.
Commonly, it presents as an incidental finding during auscultation of the heart in adult life (an ejection click and murmur, usually with a soft early diastolic murmur).
Bicuspid aortic valves are prone to various pathological processes:
- the valve is more likely to calcify, resulting in aortic stenosis
- the valve may be incompetent
- it may predispose to aortic dissection