Quadricuspid Aortic Valve.
These are the amazing cardiac MRI images of a middle-aged woman with hypertension and 3/6 systolic ejection murmur. The woman was diagnosed with the presence of a Quadricuspid Aortic Valve instead of a normal Aortic Valve with three leaflets .
The aortic valve lies between the left ventricle and the aorta. When the pressure in the left ventricle rises above the pressure in the aorta, the aortic valve opens, allowing blood to exit the left ventricle into the aorta. When the pressure in the left ventricle decreases, the aortic pressure forces the aortic valve to close.
Bicuspid aortic valve is the most common aortic valve abnormality, occurring in 2% of the population, and in this condition, instead of three cusps, the aortic valve has two cusps. The next most frequent aortic valve abnormality is an unicuspid aortic valve. Historically, quadricuspid aortic valves have been considered rare, most cases discovered incidentally at the time of cardiac surgery or at autopsy.
(Images and clinical informations via VCU Medical Center).