Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heart Disease Health Center

Font Size

Aortic Valve Regurgitation - Cause

Different factors cause sudden (acute) and long-standing (chronic) aortic valve regurgitation.

Chronic aortic valve regurgitation

Causes of chronic aortic valve regurgitation include:

  • Congenital heart defects. Some people are born with a valve that has one (unicuspid valve) or two leaflets (bicuspid valve camera.gif) instead of three. In either of these cases, the valves don't close the way they should when the heart is at rest.
  • Aging. The normal wear and tear of aging can affect the valves.
  • Endocarditis. This is an infection in the heart. Bacteria caused by infection can prevent the valve from closing properly.
  • Enlarged aorta. This can be caused by age or other health problems, such as high blood pressure.
  • The diet medicine fen-phen. Fen-phen was a popular diet drug that was taken off the U.S. market in 1997 because of its link to heart valve disease, including aortic valve regurgitation.
  • Rheumatic feverRheumatic fever. If you had rheumatic fever, you may be at increased risk for aortic valve regurgitation.
  • Radiation treatments for cancer. In rare cases, radiation treatments to the chest can damage the aortic valve.

Acute aortic valve regurgitation

Acute regurgitation can be caused by:

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: August 08, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    x-ray of human heart
    A visual guide.
    atrial fibrillation
    Symptoms and causes.
    heart rate graph
    10 things to never do.
    heart rate
    Get the facts.
    empty football helmet
    red wine
    eating blueberries
    Simple Steps to Lower Cholesterol
    Inside A Heart Attack
    Omega 3 Sources
    Salt Shockers
    lowering blood pressure