Causes and Effects Of Aortic valve Disease

By Hassan Mohammad Al-Shehri ID#2051040006

Aortic valve regurgitation
Aortic valve regurgitation — or aortic regurgitation — is a condition that occurs when your heart's aortic valve doesn't close tightly. Aortic valve regurgitation allows blood that was just pumped out of your heart to leak back into it. The leakage of blood may prevent your heart from efficiently pumping blood out to the rest of your body. If your heart isn't working efficiently, you may feel fatigued and short of breath. Aortic valve regurgitation can develop suddenly or over decades. It has a variety of causes, such as rheumatic fever. Once aortic valve regurgitation becomes severe, surgery is usually required to repair or replace the aortic valve. Aortic valve regurgitation is also called aortic insufficiency or aortic incompetence.

Signs and symptoms
Most often aortic valve regurgitation develops gradually, and your heart compensates for the problem. You may have no signs or symptoms for many years, and you may even be unaware that you have this condition. However, as aortic valve regurgitation progresses, signs and symptoms usually appear and may include:
• • • • • • •

Fatigue and weakness, especially when you increase your activity level Shortness of breath, especially with exertion or when you lie flat Chest pain, discomfort or tightness, often increasing during exercise Fainting Rapid or irregular pulse Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat Swollen ankles and feet

Causes
Any condition that damages a valve can cause regurgitation. Causes of aortic valve regurgitation may be:

A congenital heart defect. You may have been born with an aortic valve that has one leaflet (unicuspid valve) or two leaflets (bicuspid valve) rather than the normal three leaflets. This puts you at risk of developing aortic valve regurgitation at some time in your life. Deterioration of the valve with age. The aortic valve opens and shuts tens of thousands of times a day, every day of your life. Aortic valve regurgitation may result from age-related wear and tear on the valve.

• •

Endocarditis. The aortic valve may be damaged by endocarditis — an infection inside your heart that involves heart valves. Rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever — a complication of strep throat and once a common childhood illness in the United States — can damage the aortic valve, leading to aortic valve regurgitation later in life. Rheumatic fever may damage more than one heart valve, and in more than one way. A damaged heart valve may not open fully or close completely — or both. Rheumatic fever is still prevalent in underdeveloped countries, and many older adults in the United States were exposed to rheumatic fever as children. Other causes. Other, rarer conditions that can damage the aortic valve and lead to regurgitation include Marfan syndrome (a disease of connective tissue), ankylosing spondylitis (a spine disorder) and syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease). Damage to the aorta near the site of the aortic valve, such as damage from trauma to your chest or from a tear in the aorta, also can cause backward flow of blood through the valve.

Complications
Aortic valve regurgitation puts you at risk of endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining — the endocardium. This membrane lines the four chambers and four valves of your heart. Typically, this infection involves one of the heart valves, especially if it's already damaged. If the aortic valve is leaky, it's more prone to infection than a healthy valve. You can develop endocarditis when bacteria from another part of your body spread through your bloodstream and lodge in your heart. If you have aortic valve regurgitation, your doctor may recommend that you take antibiotics before certain dental or medical procedures to decrease the likelihood that bacteria will enter your bloodstream and cause an infection in your heart. When it's mild, aortic valve regurgitation may never pose a serious threat to your health. But when it's severe, aortic valve regurgitation may lead to congestive heart failure.

Aortic valve stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis is a condition in which the heart's aortic valve narrows. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which obstructs blood flow from the heart into the aorta and onward to the rest of the body. Aortic valve stenosis usually results in an abnormal heart sound. When the aortic valve is obstructed, the heart needs to work harder to pump blood to the body. Eventually heart muscle becomes. In addition, the heart can pump only a limited amount of blood — and can't provide the increase in blood flow you need for activities such as exercise.

Several factors, including aging, can damage the aortic valve and lead to aortic valve stenosis. Some babies are even born with a defective aortic valve. If you have severe aortic valve stenosis, you'll usually need surgery to replace the valve.

Signs and symptoms
Aortic valve stenosis ranges from mild to severe. Signs and symptoms typically develop when narrowing of the valve is severe and can include:
• • • • • • •

Chest pain (angina) or tightness Feeling faint or fainting with exertion Dizziness Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity Shortness of breath, especially with exertion Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat Heart murmur

Causes
Aortic valve stenosis is narrowing of the aortic valve. Many factors can narrow this passageway between your heart and aorta. Causes of aortic valve stenosis include:

Congenital heart defect. Rarely, some babies are born with an already narrowed aortic valve. Others are born with an aortic valve that has only two flaps (leaflets) — not three. Known as a bicuspid aortic valve, this deformity may not cause any problems until adulthood, at which time the valve may begin to narrow or leak and may need to be repaired or replaced. Aortic valve calcification. With age, heart valves may accumulate deposits of calcium . Rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever may result in scar tissue forming on the aortic valve. Scar tissue alone can narrow the aortic valve and lead to aortic valve stenosis. Scar tissue can also create a rough surface on which calcium deposits can collect, contributing to aortic valve stenosis later in life. Rheumatic fever may damage more than one heart valve, and in more than one way

• •

Complications
Aortic valve stenosis puts you at risk of endocarditis. aortic valve stenosis can lead to congestive heart failure. Severe aortic valve stenosis ultimately can be life-threatening. The condition can lead to irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and cardiac arrest.