Aortic Regurgitation

What is Aortic Regurgitation?

Aortic regurgitation, also called aortic insufficiency, is the result of incomplete closure of the three aortic valve leaflets. Ordinarily, blood flows from the left ventricle through the aortic valve and out to the aorta, supplying blood and oxygen to the rest of the body. When the valve does not close all the way, blood can back up in the left ventricle, resulting in enlargement of the ventricle and the aorta.

Risk Factors

  • History of heart infections (such as rheumatic fever)
  • Heart defects from birth 
  • History of aortic stenosis
  • History of Marfan syndrome 

Symptoms

  • Fatigue with activity 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lightheadedness
  • Swollen feet 
  • Chest pain or discomfort 

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest x-ray 
  • Echocardiogram 

Treatments

  • Aortic valve replacement surgery