The opening from the left ventricle into the aorta is closed during diastole by the aortic semilunar valves. Whenever these three valves become stiffened or fused by disease, the opening into the aorta is narrowed and the free flow of blood from the ventricle is obstructed. True aortic stenosis has been considered rare. Heart disease has, however, become the leading cause of death, and it may be that aortic stenosis occurs more frequently than has been supposed. In reviewing 6,800 necropsy reports of all types of disease at the Massachusetts General Hospital, McGinn and White1 found 123 cases of aortic stenosis. In a clinical group of 4,800 cardiovascular cases they found 113 cases of aortic stenosis. The incidence in the two groups was therefore 1.8 and 2.3 per cent, respectively, which was higher than had been anticipated.
Since the basal cardiac area has been called the field of romance