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Aortic Valve Regurgitation

Aortic valve regurgitation is the backflow of blood from the aorta through the aortic valve into the left ventricle. If enough blood flows back into the heart, it can increase the workload on the left ventricle (lower left chamber), causing damage.

When the heart pumps, the aortic valve opens to let oxygen-rich blood flow from the left ventricle into the aorta. When the heart rests between beats, the aortic valve closes to keep blood from flowing backward into the heart. In aortic valve regurgitation, the aortic valve does not close properly. With each heartbeat, some of the blood pumped into the aorta leaks back (regurgitates) through the faulty valve into the left ventricle.

Medical therapy may delay or minimize the damage caused by aortic valve regurgitation. In some cases, surgery to replace the valve is needed, to avoid damage to the heart chambers and to keep an adequate blood flow to the body.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 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.