We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Valvular Heart Disease?

Niki Foster
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Valvular heart disease is an umbrella term for any disease affecting the valves of the heart. Valvular heart disease may be congenital or acquired, and it can affect one or more of the four valves of the heart. Diagnosis and treatment depend upon the particular type of valvular heart disease.

There are four valves in the human heart. The mitral valve leads from the left atrium, the upper left chamber of the heart, to the left ventricle, the lower left chamber. The aortic valve leads from the left ventricle to the aorta. The tricuspid valve leads from the right atrium to the right ventricle, and the pulmonary valve leads from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery. The valves of the heart are essential to maintaining a unidirectional flow of blood through the heart, and their opening and closing can be heard as the heartbeat.

There are essentially two types of valvular heart disease, stenosis and insufficiency, either of which can affect one or more of the four valves. Stenosis is characterized by an incomplete opening of the valve, while insufficiency is characterized by incomplete closure. Stenosis impedes blood flow through the heart, while valvular insufficiency causes blood to leak backward through the valve, disrupting the unidirectional flow of blood. Valvular heart disease is classified according to the type of valve disease and the valve affected, such as aortic valve stenosis or mitral insufficiency. These subtypes of the disease are often abbreviated using the initial of the valve affected and S for stenosis or I for insufficiency, so pulmonary valve stenosis would be abbreviated as PS.

Valvular heart disease can be caused by congenital malformation of the valves, or heart valve dysplasia; or it can be caused by inflammation of the valves, which can be brought about by bacterial infection, cancer, or immune disorders. Certain medications, including cabergoline, pergolide, and the diet drug Fen-Phen, can also cause the heart valves to malfunction. Symptoms vary depending upon the type and severity of valvular heart disease, and can range from a slightly irregular heartbeat that requires no treatment, to heart failure.

Similarly, treatment, when necessary, is determined by the type and severity of the disease. If it is caused by inflammation, treating the underlying condition can stop valve malfunction. Sometimes, medication such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors can help regulate blood flow in the heart. If valvular heart disease is severe, however, surgical replacement of the affected valve may be the best treatment.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Niki Foster
By Niki Foster , Writer

In addition to her role as a TheHealthBoard editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in order to get ideas for her own articles. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Linguistics and Anthropology.

Discussion Comments

Niki Foster

Niki Foster

Writer

In addition to her role as a TheHealthBoard editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual...

Read more
TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.