Severe Aortic Valve Regurgitation

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12 years ago

Case description

Aortic valve regurgitation — or aortic regurgitation — is a condition that occurs when the heart's aortic valve doesn't close tightly. Aortic valve regurgitation allows some of the blood that was just pumped out of the heart's main pumping chamber (left ventricle) to leak back into it. The volume and pressure of blood in the left ventricle may increase. As a result, the heart may have to do more work to compensate. The walls of the ventricle will sometimes thicken (hypertrophy), and a thickened heart muscle is less effective. The leakage may prevent the heart from efficiently pumping blood to the rest of the body. As a result, patient may feel fatigued and short of breath. Aortic valve regurgitation can develop suddenly or over decades. Once aortic valve regurgitation becomes severe, surgery is often required to repair or replace the aortic valve. The most common causes of severe aortic regurgitation are weakening of the valve tissue due to aging processes, which can cause the valve flaps to become floppy. Mild aortic regurgitation is commonly caused by high blood pressure, bacterial infection of the heart valve or injury.

tags: echocardiography aortic regurgitation aortic valve

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