Aortic Valve Regurgitation



Aortic valve reflux disease or aortic regurgitation is a condition that occurs when the aortic valve of the heart does not close tightly. Aortic valve regurgitation makes it possible to leak a portion of the blood just pumped out of the heart’s main pump chamber (left ventricle) back there.

Leakage can prevent your heart from pumping blood efficiently to the rest of the body. As a result, you may feel fatigue or shortness of breath.

Regurgitation of the aortic valve can occur suddenly or decades. When the regurgitation of the aortic valve becomes severe, surgery is often required to repair or replace the aortic valve.


There may be no symptoms or symptoms for years and you might not notice that you are in that state.

However, as aortic valve regurgitation worsens, signs and symptoms,

  • Fatigue and weakness, especially when you raise your activity level
  • Sharp exercise and shortness of breath when sleeping
    Swollen ankle and foot (edema)
  • Frequently chest pain (angina), discomfort or tension
  • increases during exercise
  • Mild or fainting
  • Irregular pulse (arrhythmia)
  • Cardiac murmur
  • A sense of rapid and flapping heartbeat (palpitation)

When going to see a doctor

As soon as symptoms and signs of aortic regurgitation appear, please consult your doctor. Sometimes the first sign of aortic regurgitation is congestive heart failure, its crucial complication. If you have fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling of the ankle or foot, please consult your doctor.


Any condition that damages the valve can cause backflow. To cause the aortic valve regurgitation,

Congenital heart valve disease.

You may have been born with an aortic valve with only two cusps (bicuspid valves) or fused cusps, not the usual three separate cusps. It is subject to the risk of developing aortic regurgitation at some point in your life.


Aortic valves can be damaged by endocarditis, which is an infection in the heart with a heart valve.

Rheumatic fever.

Rheumatic fever is a complication of streptococci, once a pediatric disease in the United States, it can damage aortic valves. Rheumatic fever is still common in developing countries, but it is rare in the United States. Many elderly people in the United States may not have developed rheumatic heart disease, but have been exposed to rheumatic fever as a child.


Other rare conditions may expand the aortic valve and lead to reflux disease. This includes Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue disease.


Damage to the aorta near the site of the aortic valve, such as injury to the chest or laceration in the aorta, can also cause backflow of blood through the valve.

How does your mind work?

The heart valve opens like a one-way gate. The aortic valve flap (cusp) is forced to open when the left ventricle contracts and blood flows into the aorta. When the blood passes through the valve and the left ventricle relaxes, the cusp approaches and prevents blood flowing just past the aorta from flowing back into the left ventricle.

A bad heart valve can neither fully open nor fail. If the valve does not close tightly, there is a possibility that blood will flow backward. This backflow through the valve is called reverse flow.

In aortic valve reflux disease, blood is leaked into the left ventricle, not to the rest of the body after being pumped to the aorta. This will cause the left ventricle to hold more blood and perhaps it can expand and thicken.

Initially, the expansion of the left ventricle helps to maintain adequate blood flow with more force. But ultimately these changes will weaken the left ventricle and your whole heart.

Risk Factors

The risk of aortic regurgitation increases when one of the following effects is received.

Damage to the aortic valve.

can damage the aortic valve. In addition, stenosis of the aortic valve (aortic stenosis) can be associated with leakage.

Hypertension (high blood pressure).

Hypertension can stretch the roots of the aorta where the aortic valve sits. The valve flap (cusp) no longer matches and may leak.

Congenital heart valve disease.

If you are born with a malignant aortic valve, chances to cause aortic regurgitation increase.


Certain conditions, including Marfan syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis, may spread the aortic root (the aorta adheres to the ventricle) causing leaky aortic valves.


By middle age you can develop a regurgitation of the aortic valve caused by natural deterioration of the valve.


If there is a problem with the heart valve, there is a risk of infecting the inner layer of the heart (endocarditis). If the aortic valve leaks, it becomes easier to infect than a healthy valve.

In mild cases, reflux of the aortic valve will never cause a serious threat to your health. However, in severe cases, regurgitation of the aortic valve can lead to heart failure. Heart failure is a critical condition in which your heart can not absorb enough blood to meet your body’s needs.

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