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PLoS One. 2017 Jun 5;12(6):e0178932. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178932. eCollection 2017.

Asymptomatic aortic stenosis: An assessment of patients' and of their general practitioners' knowledge, after an indexed specialized assessment in community practice.

Author information

Department of cardiology, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire Grenoble-Alpes, Grenoble, France.
Department of cardiology and heart valve center, GCS-Groupement des Hôpitaux de l'Institut Catholique de Lille (GHICL), Faculté de Médecine et de Maïeutique de Lille / Université Catholique de Lille, Lille, France.
INSERM U 1088 Université de Picardie, Amiens, France.
Department of clinical research, GCS-Groupement des Hôpitaux de l'Institut Catholique de Lille (GHICL), Faculté de Médicine et de Maïeutique de Lille / Université Catholique de Lille, Lille, France.
Department of cardiac surgery, Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille, Lille, France.
Cardiology B department, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d'Amiens, Amiens, France.



Clinical and echocardiography follow-up is recommended in patients with aortic stenosis to detect symptom onset, thus a watchful waiting approach has to be safe and effective. For both AS patients and their general practitioners, evaluation of valvular heart disease (VHD) knowledge, after the indexed specialized assessment has never been measured.


To evaluate the knowledge of clinical symptoms of aortic stenosis by both patients and their general practitioner.


Sixty-four patients, with moderate to severe and initially asymptomatic AS (median AVA (interquartile range) 1.01(0.80-1.15) cm2) previously referred to a tertiary center and medically managed for at least 6 months after the index echocardiogram, and their primary care doctors were interviewed on the phone and asked to answer specific questions related to knowledge of aortic stenosis symptoms.


Fifty-six percent of patients quoted shortness of breath as one of the aortic stenosis symptoms, and only 16% knew the 3 aortic stenosis symptoms. Fifty percent of patients reported having received sufficient information regarding aortic stenosis; only 48% remembered receiving information regarding specific symptoms. Only 14% general practitioners quoted the 3 specific symptoms. According to the initial recommendation, only 41 patients (64%) benefitted from a 6-to-12 month clinical and echocardiography follow up.


GPs are not sufficiently trained to safely manage AS patients in the community and to ensure adequate follow-up and monitoring. AS patients were not properly informed about their diagnosis and symptomatology. Hence, therapeutic education should be improved for patients with asymptomatic AS and continuous medical education on VHD should be reinforced, for GPs.

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