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What is a leaky heart valve?

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The heart has four valves. They include:

The valves consist of flaps that open to let blood flow in one direction as it moves through the chambers of the heart. Then, the valves close to keep blood from flowing backwards into the chamber it just left. Each valve typically has three flaps, except for the mitral valve, which has two.

Any of the four valves can become leaky. This means that just after the heart squeezes and pumps blood forward, some blood will leak backward through the valve. Leaking through the valve is also called valve regurgitation.

  • Tricuspid valve
  • Pulmonic valve
  • Mitral valve
  • Aortic valve

From: Leaky Heart Valve WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Borgeson, D. 1996; vol 9: pp 832-837. Enriquez-Sarano, M. 2004; vol 351: pp 1539-1546. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, New England Journal of Medicine,

Otto, C. 2001; vol 345: pp 740-746. New England Journal of Medicine,

Bonow, R. , 2008; vol 118: pp e523-661. Circulation

Guenther, T. 2008; vol 34: pp 402-409. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery,

Lee, J. 2010; vol 74: pp 375-380. Circulation Journal,

Libby, P. 8th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine,

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: “Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 8, 2017

SOURCES:

Borgeson, D. 1996; vol 9: pp 832-837. Enriquez-Sarano, M. 2004; vol 351: pp 1539-1546. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, New England Journal of Medicine,

Otto, C. 2001; vol 345: pp 740-746. New England Journal of Medicine,

Bonow, R. , 2008; vol 118: pp e523-661. Circulation

Guenther, T. 2008; vol 34: pp 402-409. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery,

Lee, J. 2010; vol 74: pp 375-380. Circulation Journal,

Libby, P. 8th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine,

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: “Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 8, 2017

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How is a leaky heart valve diagnosed?

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