Aortic Valve Regurgitation or Aortic Regurgitation
- By sahlhealth
- May 18, 2021
- 19 views
Aortic Valve Regurgitation â€” or Aortic Regurgitation â€” is a condition that occurs when your heart’s aortic valve doesn’t close tightly. Aortic Valve Regurgitation allows some of the blood that was pumped out of your heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) to leak back into it.The leakage may prevent your heart from efficiently pumping blood to the rest of your body. As a result, you 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.
-Most often, Aortic Valve Regurgitation develops gradually, and your heart compensates for the problem. You may have no signs or symptoms for years, and you may even be unaware that you have the condition.
However, as Aortic Valve Regurgitation worsens, signs and symptoms may include:
- Fatigue and weakness, especially when you increase your activity level
- Shortness of breath with exercise or when you lie down
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Chest pain (angina), discomfort or tightness, often increasing during exercise
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- Irregular pulse (arrhythmia)
- Heart murmur
- Sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat (palpitations)
When to see a doctor
-Contact your doctor right away if signs and symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation develop. Sometimes the first indications of Aortic Valve Regurgitation are those of its major complication, heart failure. See your doctor if you have fatigue, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles and feet, which are common symptoms of heart failure.
-To diagnose Aortic Valve Regurgitation, your doctor may review your signs and symptoms, discuss your and your family's medical history, and conduct a physical examination. Your doctor may listen to your heart with a stethoscope to determine if you have a heart murmur that may indicate an Aortic Valve Condition. A doctor trained in heart disease (cardiologist) may evaluate you.
-Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose your condition, and determine the cause and severity of your condition.
Tests may include:
- Echocardiogram. Sound waves directed at your heart from a wandlike device (transducer) held on your chest produces video images of your heart in motion. This test can help doctors closely look at the condition of the aortic valve and the aorta. It can help doctors determine the cause and severity of your condition, and see if you have additional heart valve conditions. Doctors may also use a 3-D echocardiogram.Doctors may conduct another type of echocardiogram called a transesophageal echocardiogram to get a closer look at the aortic valve. In this test, a small transducer attached to the end of a tube is inserted down the tube leading from your mouth to your stomach (esophagus).
- Electrocardiogram (ECG). In this test, wires (electrodes) attached to pads on your skin measure the electrical activity of your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart, heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms.
- Chest X-ray. This enables your doctor to determine whether your heart is enlarged â€” a possible indicator of aortic valve regurgitation â€” or whether you have an enlarged aorta. It can also help doctors determine the condition of your lungs.
- Exercise tests or stress tests. Exercise tests help doctors see whether you have signs and symptoms of aortic valve disease during physical activity, and these tests can help determine the severity of your condition. If you are unable to exercise, medications that have similar effects as exercise on your heart may be used.
- Cardiac MRI. Using a magnetic field and radio waves, this test produces detailed pictures of your heart, including the aorta and aortic valve. This test may be used to determine the severity of your condition.
- Cardiac catheterization. This test isn't often used to diagnose aortic valve regurgitation, but it may be used if other tests aren't able to diagnose the condition or determine its severity. Doctors may also conduct cardiac catheterization prior to valve replacement surgery to see if there are obstructions in the coronary arteries, so they can be fixed at the time of the valve surgery.In cardiac catheterization, a doctor threads a thin tube (catheter) through a blood vessel in your arm or groin to an artery in your heart and injects dye through the catheter to make the artery visible on an X-ray. This provides your doctor with a detailed picture of your heart arteries and how your heart functions. It can also measure the pressure inside the heart chambers.
-Treatment of Aortic Valve Regurgitation depends on the severity of your condition, whether you're experiencing signs and symptoms, and if your condition is getting worse.If your symptoms are mild or you aren't experiencing symptoms, your doctor may monitor your condition with regular follow-up appointments. Your doctor may recommend that you make healthy lifestyle changes and take medications to treat symptoms or reduce the risk of complications.
-You may eventually need surgery to repair or replace the diseased aortic valve. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgery even if you aren't experiencing symptoms. If you're having another heart surgery, doctors may perform aortic valve surgery at the same time. In some cases, you may need a section of the aorta (aortic root) repaired or replaced at the same time as Aortic Valve surgery if the aorta is enlarged.If you have Aortic Valve Regurgitation, consider being evaluated and treated at a medical center with a multidisciplinary team of cardiologists and other doctors and medical staff trained and experienced in evaluating and treating heart valve disease. This team can work closely with you to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
-Surgery to repair or replace an aortic valve is usually performed through a cut (incision) in the chest. In some cases, doctors may perform minimally invasive heart surgery, which involves the use of smaller incisions than those used in open-heart surgery.
-Surgery options include:
Aortic valve repair
-To repair an aortic valve, surgeons may conduct several different types of repair, including separating valve flaps (cusps) that have fused, reshaping or removing excess valve tissue so that the cusps can close tightly, or patching holes in a valve.
Aortic Valve Replacement
-Doctors may use a catheter procedure to insert a plug or device to repair a leaking replacement aortic valve.Aortic valve replacement is often needed to treat Aortic Valve Regurgitation. In aortic valve replacement, your surgeon removes the damaged valve and replaces it with a mechanical valve or a valve made from cow, pig or human heart tissue (biological tissue valve). Another type of biological tissue valve replacement that uses your own pulmonary valve is sometimes possible.Biological tissue valves degenerate over time and may eventually need to be replaced. People with mechanical valves will need to take blood-thinning medications for life to prevent blood clots. Your doctor will discuss with you the benefits and risks of each type of valve and discuss which valve may be appropriate for you.Doctors may also conduct a catheter procedure to insert a replacement valve into a failing biological tissue valve that is no longer working properly. Other procedures using catheters to repair or replace aortic valves to treat Aortic Valve Regurgitation continue to be researched.