Aortic Regurgitation

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Aortic regurgitation is a condition where the heart’s aortic valve does not fully close which results in oxygen rich blood leaking back into the heart instead of being pumped out of the heart. This will result in the heart inefficiently pumping blood and vital organs not getting enough oxygen.

Causes:

Aortic regurgitation is caused by the following

  • Heart valve disease
  • Endocarditis
  • Rheumatic fever

Symptoms:

Aortic regurgitation develops gradually so it is common to not see symptoms for years. As the condition worsens, the patient will experience symptoms including

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Heart murmur
  • Fluttering heartbeat
  • Irregular pulse

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose aortic regurgitation. Listed below are imaging tests the doctor may preform to properly diagnose aortic regurgitation

  • Echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Stress test
  • Cardiac catheterization

Treatments:

Treatment of aortic valve regurgitation depends on the severity of the condition and whether the patient is experiencing symptoms. Below are possible treatment methods for aortic regurgitation

  • Aortic valve repair
  • Aortic valve replacement

Lifestyle Changes:

The doctor may suggest that lifestyle changes to help with the symptoms. To have a healthy heart, the patient should do the following.

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Regularly exercise
  • Maintain healthy weight or lose weight if needed
  • Quit Smoking
  • Get a flu shot every year
  • Drink alcohol in moderation or avoid it entirely

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