Doug Orleans (dougo) wrote,
Doug Orleans

My heart is a flower

A few months ago, my Uncle Dick died suddenly at age 63. He was always the picture of health, a lifelong vegetarian and an almost stereotypical "health nut". The coroner's report said that his death was partially caused by a "congenital bicuspid aortic valve", which often goes undiagnosed, so it seems likely that he was unaware of this condition. It also turns out to be "highly heritable", so I figured it was a great idea for me to get examined to see whether I had the condition also...

Well, good news! My doctor reported that my echocardiogram "looked fine", and that "the aortic valve is trileaflet". He also mentioned "Color Doppler is suggestive of PFO/tiny ASD with left to right shunt." I had to look up PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale) but it appears to be... mostly harmless? I asked him to confirm, and he explained: "These tiny abnormalities are seen in the general population and are not of clinical concern. You should be fine."

So, that's one less thing to worry about.
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