Aortic valve disease is a condition in which the valve between the main pumping chamber of your heart (left ventricle) and the main artery to your body (aorta) doesn’t work properly.
There are two types of aortic valve disease. Aortic regurgitation (AR) is the leaking of the aortic valve of the heart that causes blood to flow in the reverse direction during ventricular diastole, from the aorta into the left ventricle. Aortic stenosis (AS or AoS), the narrowing of the exit of the left ventricle of the heart (where the aorta begins), such that problems result.
What is aortic regurgitation?
Aortic regurgitation is a condition that occurs when your heart’s aortic valve doesn’t close tightly. Aortic 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.
What are the symptoms?
Aortic regurgitation typically develops gradually, with the heart compensating for the problems. There may be no signs or symptoms for years, but as the condition worsens symptoms may include fatigue and weakness, shortness of breath with exercise or when lying down, swollen ankles and feet, chest pain (angina), discomfort or tightness (often increasing during exercise), lightheadedness or fainting, irregular pulse (arrhythmia), heart murmur or heart palpitations.
What is aortic stenosis?
Aortic stenosis occurs when the heart’s aortic valve narrows. This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, which reduces or blocks blood flow from the heart into the main artery to your body (aorta) and onward to the rest of your body. This reduction or blockage of blood flow forces your heart to work harder in order to pump blood to your body.
What are the symptoms?
Aortic stenosis symptoms typically develop when narrowing of the valve is severe, with some people not experiencing symptoms for many years. Signs and symptoms may include an abnormal heart sound (heart murmur), chest pain (angina) with activity, feeling faint or dizzy with activity, shortness of breath, fatigue or heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat. The heart-weakening effects of aortic valve stenosis may lead to heart failure.