Aortic Valve Disease

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons:

The human heart has four valves—two on the left and two on the right. The aortic valve—the main outflow valve for the left heart—is the valve between the heart and the body. The aortic valve opens when the left ventricle squeezes to pump out blood, and closes in between heart beats to keep blood from going backward into the heart.

Normally, the aortic valve has three flaps (leaflets) that regulate blood flow by opening and closing, allowing blood to flow throughout your body.

Aortic valve disease occurs when the aortic valve doesn’t work properly; it either fails to close tightly (aortic regurgitation or insufficiency) or gets too tight (aortic stenosis).

There are two main types of aortic valve disease: 

  1. Aortic Regurgitation (also known as aortic insufficiency) — the valve does not close completely, allowing blood to leak backward into the heart
  2. Aortic Stenosis — the valve is too tight and does not open enough to allow blood to leave the heart and spread to the body 

For additional information about causes, diagnosis and treatment options, please go to: https://ctsurgerypatients.org/adult-heart-disease/aortic-valve-disease-0

Gregg Greenberg