Heart valve disease

Amanda Bullock / November 21,2022

 

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In heart valve disease, one or more of the valves in your heart doesn’t work properly.

Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction. In some cases, one or more of the valves don’t open or close properly. This can cause the blood flow through your heart to your body to be disrupted.

Your heart valve disease treatment depends on the heart valve affected and the type and severity of the valve disease. Sometimes heart valve disease requires surgery to repair or replace the heart valve.

Some people with heart valve disease might not experience symptoms for many years. Signs and symptoms of heart valve disease may include:

If you have a heart murmur, your doctor may recommend you visit a cardiologist. If you develop any symptoms that may suggest heart valve disease, see your doctor.

A normal heart has two upper and two lower chambers. The upper chambers, the right and left atria, receive incoming blood. The lower chambers, the more muscular right and left ventricles, pump blood out of your heart. The heart valves, which keep blood flowing in the right direction, are gates at the chamber openings.

Heart valve problems may include a narrowed valve (stenosis), a leaking valve (regurgitation) or a valve with leaflets that are bulging back (prolapse), as shown in the bottom two images. A normal heart and valves is shown in the top image.

Your heart has four valves that keep blood flowing in the correct direction. These valves include the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, pulmonary valve and aortic valve. Each valve has flaps (leaflets or cusps) that open and close once during each heartbeat. Sometimes, the valves don’t open or close properly, disrupting the blood flow through your heart to your body.

Heart valve disease may be present at birth (congenital). It can also occur in adults due to many causes and conditions, such as infections and other heart conditions.

Heart valve problems may include:

Several factors can increase your risk of heart valve disease, including:

Heart valve disease can cause many complications, including:

 

Heart valve disease care at Mayo Clinic

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