Heart

Valve Disorders

Valve disorders refer to the inability of the heart valves to function the way they should. The heart has four valves which keep blood flowing in the correct direction. The valves 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.

In a condition called stenosis, a valve isn’t able to open properly due to the narrowing of the valves that may be caused by congenital abnormality, degeneration through atherosclerosis, damage from rheumatic fever or excessive calcification in old age.

In a condition called regurgitation, a valve doesn’t close properly and can leak due to bacterial infection or inflammation of a valve, excessive floppiness of the leaflets, or enlargement of the heart or aorta.

Failure in a valve in the left side of the heart – the aortic or the mitral valve – results in left-sided heart failure and leads to an accumulation of fluids in the lungs.

Valve disorders of the right side of the heart – the pulmonary and tricuspid valve – are characterized by fluid accumulation in the body.

Valve Disorders Resources + Organizations