Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular heart disease refers to conditions affecting one or more of the heart’s four valves: the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, aortic valve, and pulmonary valve. These valves regulate blood flow through the heart chambers by opening and closing in coordination with each heartbeat. Valvular heart disease can result from various causes, including congenital defects, infections, degenerative changes, or other underlying heart conditions. Here are some common types of valvular heart disease:

  1. Aortic Stenosis: Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve narrows, limiting the flow of blood from the left ventricle into the aorta and out to the rest of the body. This narrowing can lead to symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, fainting, and heart failure.
  2. Mitral Regurgitation: Mitral regurgitation happens when the mitral valve doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to leak backward from the left ventricle into the left atrium during ventricular contraction. This can cause symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, and palpitations.
  3. Mitral Stenosis: Mitral stenosis occurs when the mitral valve becomes narrowed or obstructed, impeding blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. It can result from conditions such as rheumatic fever or congenital malformations. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, and palpitations.
  4. Tricuspid Regurgitation: Tricuspid regurgitation involves leakage of blood backward through the tricuspid valve from the right ventricle to the right atrium. It can be caused by various factors, including infections, congenital defects, or enlargement of the right ventricle. Symptoms can include swelling in the legs and abdomen, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
  5. Pulmonary Regurgitation: Pulmonary regurgitation occurs when the pulmonary valve fails to close properly, allowing blood to flow backward from the pulmonary artery to the right ventricle. It can result from congenital defects, pulmonary hypertension, or other conditions. Symptoms may include fatigue, shortness of breath, and palpitations.

Treatment for valvular heart disease depends on the type and severity of the condition. Mild cases may not require treatment initially but may necessitate monitoring over time. Moderate to severe cases may require medications to manage symptoms or surgical interventions such as valve repair or replacement. It’s crucial for individuals with valvular heart disease to receive regular medical follow-up to monitor their condition and prevent complications.

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