Aortic Regurgitation Causes Symptoms Information with Treatment

Aortic valve regurgitation or aortic regurgitation is a condition that occurs when your heart’s aortic valve doesn’t close tightly. From the aorta, oxygen-rich blood flows into the branching arteries and through the body to feed the cells. The body doesn’t receive enough blood, so the heart must work harder to make up for it (compensation) Regurgitation means the valve doesn’t close properly, and blood can leak backward through it. See an illustration of aortic valve regurgitation. This usually doesn’t cause any symptoms or problems. This topic focuses on the more serious cases of aortic valve regurgitation where large amounts of blood flow back across the aortic valve into the left ventricle. Aortic regurgitation can range from mild to severe. Some people may have no symptoms for years. But as the condition worsens, symptoms will appear. Eventually, despite this compensation, the heart may be unable to meet the body’s need for blood, leading to heart failure, with fluid accumulation in the lungs.

Causes of Aortic Regurgitation

The common Causes of Aortic Regurgitation :

Hypertension

Congenital bicuspid aortic valve (person is born with only two aortic valve leaflets, instead of the normal three)

Aortic Dissection

Syphilis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Aortic Dissection

Marfan’s Syndrome

Rheumatic heart disease (caused by untreated “strep throat” in childhood)

Symptoms of Aortic Regurgitation

Some Symptoms of Aortic Regurgitation :

Chest pain .

Fatigue.

Shortness of breath while resting prone.

Usually none until age 40-50.

Swollen ankles and feet.

Shortness of breath on exertion.

Lightheadedness.

Fainting .

Rapid or irregular pulse.

Treatment of Aortic Regurgitation

Beta-blocker medications may slow progression in those with Marfan’s Syndrome .

Vasodilator medications such as ACE inhibitors, hydralazine, and nifedipine can decrease the severity of the regurgitation.

Surgical valve replacement in those with symptoms or significant left ventricular dysfunction.