A condition known as aortic valve regurgitation occurs when the aortic valve in your heart does not close properly, allowing blood to flow backward. If you have aortic valve regurgitation, some of the blood that was pumped out of your heart's main pumping chamber (the left ventricle) may flow back into it.
You may not be able to supply your body with the blood it needs because of the leaking. As a result, you may feel exhausted and short of breath.
Regurgitation of the aortic valve can occur suddenly or gradually over several years or decades. Surgery to repair or replace the aortic valve is frequently necessary when aortic valve regurgitation is at an advanced stage.
- Regurgitation of the aortic valve is a progressive process, and your heart is forced to adapt. The condition may go undetected for years, and you may even be entirely unaware of the fact that you have it.
- As aortic valve regurgitation worsens, the following symptoms and indicators may become more apparent:
- When you raise your degree of activity, you're more likely to experience fatigue and weakness than you were before.
- Shortness of breath can occur during physical activity or when lying down.
- A swollen foot or ankle.
- Angina (chest pain), discomfort, or tightness, which is usually made worse by exercise.
- The feeling of fainting or dizziness.
- Inconsistent heartbeat (arrhythmia).
- An underlying rumble.
- Having a fluttering heartbeat is a typical occurrence (palpitations)
What is the best time to see a doctor?
Consult your doctor promptly if you notice any of the symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation. Heart failure, a serious consequence of aortic valve regurgitation, may appear as the initial symptoms of the disease. In the event that you are feeling fatigued, have shortness of breath, or have swollen ankles and feet, you should see a doctor immediately.
In order to ensure that blood flows in the correct direction, your heart has four valves. The heart's valves include the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve, and aortic valve. Valves open and close once each heartbeat by enabling blood to pass via cusps (leaves) that open and close. Your heart's capacity to pump blood may be affected if the valves don't open or seal properly, allowing blood to flow backward through your body.
You may have aortic regurgitation if you have an abnormality in your heart's aortic valve, which connects the lower left chamber of your heart to your body's main blood supply. This is known as the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT). It is likely that the increased blood volume causes the left ventricle to enlarge and thicken.
A larger left ventricle is favorable at first because it guarantees that adequate blood flow is maintained with increased power. But with time, the left ventricle and your heart are damaged by these changes.
Regurgitation can be caused by any condition that damages a valve. A multitude of reasons can lead to regurgitation of the aortic valve, including:
When a person is born with congenital heart valve disease, the problem is permanent. The aortic valve may have just two cusps (bicuspid valve) or three cusps fused together rather than the standard three distinct cusps. This is a possibility. Unicuspid and quadricuspid valves, which have only one or four cusps, are extremely rare.
You are more likely to develop aortic valve regurgitation if you have certain congenital cardiac defects. The risk of acquiring a bicuspid aortic valve increases if you have a parent or sibling with one. Even if you don't have a family history of the bicuspid aortic valve, it might still arise.
As we become older, our hearts undergo a variety of changes. The cusps of the aortic valve may get stiffer over time due to calcium deposits on the valve. The aortic valve may become constricted or fail to close properly as a result of this procedure.
Endocarditis. Endocarditis, an infection in the heart that affects the heart valves, can cause damage to the aortic valve.
Fever that affects the joints is known as rheumatoid arthritis. An untreated rheumatic fever, an ailment that used to be common among American children, has been linked to aortic valve degeneration if left unchecked. It is still widespread in poorer countries, but in the United States, it is exceedingly rare. People in the United States who were exposed to rheumatic fever as youngsters may have had rheumatic heart disease, although it is conceivable they did not.
Other illnesses exist. Several uncommon diseases, including Marfan syndrome, a connective tissue ailment, can cause the heart to regurgitate. According to the American Heart Association, several autoimmune illnesses, such as lupus, can also induce aortic valve regurgitation.
Trauma. When the aorta around the valve is damaged, such as when you are hit in the chest or when your aorta ruptures, blood can be driven back through the aortic valve.
Factors that enhance the chance of a person becoming hurt.
Aortic valve regurgitation is associated with the following factors:
~A person in his late thirties
~In certain circumstances, cardiac defects are evident in the womb (congenital heart disease)
~Illnesses that have had a detrimental effect on the heart's health
~The heart might be harmed by conditions like Marfan syndrome.
Other heart valve illnesses, such as aortic valve stenosis, must be taken into account as well.
•Having high blood pressure is a medical issue.
•Aortic valve regurgitation can cause a wide range of issues, including:
•Suffering from heart failure
•An infection that affects the heart, for example, is known as endocarditis.
•abnormalities in the beating of the heart.
Aortic valve regurgitation or another heart illness can be detected in its earliest stages if it is regularly monitored by a doctor, therefore regular checkups are essential for anybody with a heart problem. An aortic valve that leaks or is narrowed will almost probably demand regular echocardiograms to keep the aortic valve regurgitation from getting worse.
Consider the circumstances that might lead to aortic valve regurgitation, such as the following:
Fever that affects the joints is known as rheumatoid arthritis. Medical assistance is necessary if your sore throat is really severe. If strep throat is not treated immediately, rheumatic fever may occur. Fortunately, strep throat may be treated with medication.
Having high blood pressure is a medical issue. Make it a habit to monitor your blood pressure regularly. To avoid aortic regurgitation, make sure it is under control.
The diagnosis of aortic valve regurgitation may be made by your doctor after an examination and evaluation of symptoms as well as a discussion of your and your family's medical history. To determine if you have an aortic valve problem, you may be requested to have your heart listened to with a stethoscope. A cardiologist or other professional in the field of heart disease may examine you (cardiologist).
Your doctor may order a variety of tests to determine the cause and severity of your illness. The following are examples of possible examinations:
Echocardiogram. An infrared transducer is positioned against your chest and emits sound waves that generate moving video pictures of your heart. The aortic valve and aorta conditions may be assessed more thoroughly with the use of this test. It can help doctors determine the cause and severity of your condition, as well as whether or not you have further heart valve issues. A 3-D echocardiogram may also be used by doctors to check the heart.
To acquire a closer look at the aortic valve, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) might be employed. It's done using your mouth. As part of this procedure, a small transducer is inserted into your mouth and checked for anomalies in your stomach intestines (esophagus).
Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a form of electrocardiogram (ECG) (ECG). Pads on your skin are connected to electrodes (electrodes) that measure the electrical activity of your heart (electrodes). Having an ECG can reveal whether your heart chambers are enlarged if you have heart disease, or if you have irregular heartbeats.
A chest X-ray. You and your doctor can use this information to determine if your heart has expanded in size, which may indicate aortic valve regurgitation, or if an unusually big aorta has developed in your body. To aid in the diagnosis of a patient's lungs, it can be employed.
If you have aortic valve regurgitation and it is worsening, you may require surgery to repair the damaged valve.
Your doctor may schedule regular follow-up visits to check that your condition is being adequately cared for if your symptoms are mild or non-existent. A doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and medicines to control symptoms or reduce the probability of issues.
Surgery may be required to repair or replace the aortic valve in the future. Even if you aren't having any symptoms, your doctor may still propose surgery. Aortic valve surgery may be performed at the same time as other cardiac operations. It's possible that you'll also require an aortic root repair or replacement as part of your aortic valve surgery in some situations.
Medical centers with interdisciplinary teams of cardiologists and other specialists, as well as medical personnel qualified and experienced in heart valve illness, should be considered if you suffer from aortic valve regurgitation. It is possible to engage with this team to decide the best course of action for your situation.
A cut (incision) in the chest is typically used to do aortic valve surgery, whether it's repair or replacement. Heart surgery can be performed using minimally invasive techniques, which need smaller surgical incisions than open-heart surgery.
There are a variety of surgical procedures available.
•Repair of the aortic valve
There are numerous ways that surgeons can repair the valve, including as separating the cusps that have fused together, eliminating extra tissue so that the cusps can shut firmly, or repairing holes in a valve, depending on the patient's condition.
It is possible to implant a plug or device into a replacement aortic valve using the catheter method.
###•Repair or replacement of the aortic valves
Aortic valve regurgitation frequently necessitates aortic valve replacement. Replacement of the damaged aortic valve with a mechanical valve or a heart-tissue valve is what your surgeon does in an aortic valve replacement procedure (biological tissue valve). Biological tissue valve replacements that employ your pulmonary valve are occasionally possible.
The tissue valves in our bodies deteriorate with time and may require replacement. Lifelong use of blood-thinning drugs is required for those with mechanical valves to prevent blood clots. Discuss the pros and cons of each valve with your doctor and decide which one is best for you.
A catheter method may also be used to introduce a replacement valve into a failing biological tissue valve. Other aortic valve repairs or replacement methods using catheters are also being investigated for the treatment of aortic valve regurgitation.
Lifestyle and at-home cures are included in this category.
You'll meet with your doctor frequently to monitor your progress.
If you have a cardiac issue, your doctor may recommend that you make a few lifestyle modifications to improve your health. These include, but are not limited to:
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Low-fat or fat-free dairy products, chicken, fish, and whole grains are all good sources of nutrients. Salt and sugar should be avoided as much as possible.
Keeping a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight should be a priority for everyone. For obese people, a physician may prescribe that they slim down.
Get some exercise every day. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical exercises, such as brisk walks, each day. Ask your doctor for advice before beginning an exercise program, especially if you want to participate in competitive sports.
Controlling one's state of mind at times of pressure. The best method to deal with stress is to find ways to relax and spend time with loved ones, such as taking time off for meditation or exercising.
Tobacco is something that should be avoided. Tobacco smokers, stop. Ask your doctor if there are any resources available to assist you with quitting. It may be beneficial to join a support group.
Maintaining a healthy blood pressure level. Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions while using any type of blood pressure medication.
It's critical for pregnant women with aortic valve regurgitation to consult with their doctor. Before you get pregnant, your doctor will be able to tell you which drugs are safe for you to take and whether or not you will require surgery to correct your valve issue.
During your pregnancy, your doctor will want to keep a careful eye on you. Pregnancy may be avoided if a woman has a serious valve issue, according to some doctors.