Aortic Stenosis | Definition | Heart Sounds

Welcome to our Aortic Stenosis Summary Page. This page provides a definition, an aortic stenosis murmur recording and links to other auscultation recordings, lessons and interactive guides.

What is it?

Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve's opening narrows. This narrowing obstructs blood flow from the heart into the aorta. Because of this obstruction, heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your body. This can eventually lead to weaken heart muscle.

Aortic stenosis may be present at birth. More frequently it develops in older people due to calcium deposits that narrow the valve.

Many patients with mitral valve prolapse have no symptoms. When symptoms are present, they can include:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Shortness of breath with exertion


Using the play button on the torso, you can listen to a severe case. In Severe Aortic Stenosis there is a diamond shaped systolic murmur which lasts throughout systole. The murmur is loud and higher pitched than the murmur of mild aortic stenosis. It is caused by calcification of the aortic valve leaflets.

There is a fourth heart sound heard in late diastole, just before S1, the first heart sound. This is caused by the increased left ventricular wall thickness and stiffness.

S1 is normal. S2 is louder than normal. In fact, you are hearing only the accentuated pulmonic component of S2 due to heart failure on the left side.


We have prepared an animation video of the above example of aortic stenosis. By following the link below, you can see that the murmur is caused by the prolapse of the posterior mitral valve leaflet. The murmur is generated by turbulent flow from the left ventricle into the left atrium.


More Lessons

A lesson, with audio recording is available for a mild case of aortic stenosis:

Mild Aortic Stenosis

Patient Recordings

Our heart sounds reference guide has additional patient recordings of aortic stenosis.

Reference Guide