Aortic valve disease is a condition that happens when your aortic primary artery of the body and left ventricle your heart’s lower left chamber malfunction. The aortic valve controls blood flow between the left ventricle and the aorta. (1)
Aortic valve disease has two different types:
- Aortic stenosis
- Aortic regurgitation
During aortic stenosis, Your aortic valve opening is much narrower than This should lead to restricted blood circulation to the aorta. In aortic regurgitation, Some blood back down your left ventricle Because your aortic valve isn’t closing sufficiently. (3)
What Are the Symptoms of Aortic Valve Disease?
There are similar symptoms in both forms of aortic valve disease, like chest pain during exercise which makes it easier when you are at rest, There are some different symptoms. (2)
Aortic stenosis has the potential to cause:
- shortness of breath
- rapid pulse rates
- swollen ankles
Aortic regurgitation has the potential to cause:
- fainting, usually during the exercise
- heart palpitations
Both types of aortic valve disease can take several years to develop. Consequently, you should tell your physician if you are experiencing these symptoms and have or have had one of these conditions like (These include rheumatic fever and scarlet fever).
What Causes Aortic Valve Disease? Who Is at Risk?
Calcium build-up in the aortic valve leaflets may also cause aortic stenosis. As the blood circulates in your heart, calcium progressively accumulates on the leaflets. Calcium deposition may result in stiffening of leaflets and narrowing of aortic valve. This type of aortic valve disease generally occurs only in older adults.
Rheumatic fever and scarlet fever may also give rise to aortic stenosis. Rheumatism and scarlet fever may start as strep throat and and leave scars on the aortic valve. Scarring may lead to narrowing of the aortic valve. This scar tissue can also provide calcium to an area where it can collect.
Aortic regurgitation has the same causes as aortic stenosis, but may be caused by simple wear and tear. You have an aortic valve that opens and closes 1000 of times a day. With time, normal wear and tear may result in a malfunction of the valve. The used worn valve can allow blood to circulate through your left ventricle.
Endocarditis is an infection of your heart valves which can also lead to aortic regurgitation. Although it is rare, syphilis, a sexually transmitted illness, may also damage your heart valves. Even rarer, damage to the heart valve is also a side effect of a spinal condition known as ankylosing spondylitis. These two types of damage may also result in aortic regurgitation.
A reason for aortic regurgitation is a congenital heart defect occurs at birth. The aortic valve usually consists of three triangular sections known as leaflets. When properly functioning, the leaflets closely interlock, allowing blood to flow in a single direction. In case you have a congenital defect, your aortic valve can have only one (unicuspid) or two (bicuspid) leaflets rather than the usual three.
There may be no signs of this type of aortic regurgitation until adulthood, when the valve eventually starts to show signs of leakage.
How Is Aortic Valve Disease Diagnosed?
The two types of aortic valve illness are diagnosed in a similar manner. Your physician may ask you about your medical history, as well as your family’s medical history. Your doctor can order a heart rate monitor (ECG), a test usually done in the office which measures your heart’s electrical impulses to provide information about heart rate, exercise tests to measure the response of your heart to exertion, an echocardiogram, a test which uses sound waves to create a picture of your heart and aortic valve. Chest x-ray is also widely used for the diagnosis of aortic valve disease.
Your doctor may recommend a cardiac catheterization if you cannot be definitively diagnosed with these tests. This procedure uses a colouring agent to identify leaks in your heart valves. The dye is injected by a vein into your groin or arm and followed on a monitor while it moves through your heart.
Physician can also order a cardiac magnetic resonance imaging test which uses the magnetic field and radio waves for detailed images of your heart and aortic root.
How Is Aortic Valve Disease Treated?
There are currently no drugs to treat valvular problems associated with aortic stenosis or aortic regurgitation, but Your physician may prescribe medicine that may be helpful in reducing the effects of the disease.
If you have aortic regurgitation, medications can lower your blood pressure and prevent the accumulation of fluid. If you have aortic stenosis, your physician may recommend taking medication to control heart rate problems. Beta and calcium blockers may be helpful in treating angina pectoris (chest pain). Your health care provider may also prescribe statins to lower your blood cholesterol.
Although there are various surgical methods to deal with aortic valve disease, Replacement of the aortic valve is more common and efficient. During this process, a surgeon will remove your damaged aortic valve and replace it with a newcomer from a human donor or a major animal, such as animals like cow.
Your surgeon can decide on a mechanical valve. They are made of metal and are powerful, but they increase your risk of blood clots in the heart. In case you have a mechanical valve, you may need an anticoagulant medication like warfarin (Coumadin) to permanently manage your disease.
Before replacing the valve, Your surgeon can choose to fix the problem it with a procedure called a valvuloplasty. As opposed to valve replacement, this method does not require the long-term use of medications after your operation.
Among newborns and children, a balloon valvuloplasty can be carried out. During this process, a surgeon inserts a thin tube with a balloon at the end in the child’s body. The surgeon guides the ball through the aortic valve and inflates it. As it inflates, The ball extends the opening of the valve and improves blood circulation. This type of valve is not normally performed in adults, because the valve is likely to shrink again later.
How to Prevent Aortic Valve Disease
You may want to take steps to reduce your chances of developing an aortic valve. To reduce your risk for aortic valve disease, you may want to try the following:
Preventing rheumatic and scarlet fever
If you get any sore throat, you may wish to have it examined by your physician to Make sure she doesn’t have throat. Strep throat could evolve into something that could harm your heart.
Practicing good dental hygiene
Don’t forget to take good care of your teeth and gums. This decreases the risk of blood infections that lead to endocarditis.
Keeping your heart healthy
If you experience hypertension or cholesterol, discuss with your doctor what you can do to lower your blood pressure. These two conditions have strong associations with aortic valve disease.