Description of Aortic valve disease
Disease of the aortic valve of the heart, which occurs in two forms - either a narrowing (stenosis) or a widening and scarring causing leaking (incompetence) of the valve. As a result, the left ventricle has to work harder in order to maintain the blood flow into the aorta and become thicker (hypertrophy). In the case of a leaking aortic valve, there is a backflow of blood into the ventricle, causing dilation.
Persons most commonly affected by Aortic valve disease
Both sexes and all age groups but more common in older people.
Organ or part of body involved in Aortic valve disease - heart.
Symptoms and indications of Aortic valve disease
These vary in severity according to the extent of damage to the valve. They commonly include reathlessness, ANGINAPECIDRIS, dizziness and fainting, and heart murmur. A person with symptoms of heart disease should always seek medical ttention.
Treatment of Aortic valve disease
The usual form of treatment in severe cases is surgical, in the form of an operation to replace the defective valve. Also, drugs of various kinds are likely to be required, depending on the nature of the disease. These may include anti-arrhythmic drugs, antibiotics and other heart drugs. A change to a low-salt and low-fat diet may be advised.
Causes and risk factors of Aortic valve disease
In the case of aortic stenosis, the usual cause is a degeneration and calcification that occurs with advancing age. However, the other causes include RHEUMATIC FEVER and a congenital, inherited defect in which the valve has two cusps instead of the normal three. Both of these cause scarring, calcification and narrowing. The causes of a leaking aortic valve include those listed above but, in addition, SYPHILIS, inflammation (ENDOCARDITIS) of the heart and aortic ANEURYSM. Also, HYPERTENSION (high blood pressure) and an inherited disease of connective tissue called Marfan's syndrome. A person who has had rheumatic fever in childhood is more likely to be at risk of heart valve disease in later life.