Heart Valve Disease

Our Heart has four Valves. They are mitral, tricuspid, aortic and pulmonic valves. The valves ensure blood flows in just a single direction through the heart.

Heart valve disease alludes to any of a few conditions that prevent at least one of the valves in the heart from working normally to guarantee proper flow. Left untreated, heart valve disease can diminish the life quality and become dangerous for life. In most cases, heart valves can be precisely fixed or replaced, reestablishing normal function and enabling an arrival to ordinary activities.

Symptoms of Heart Valve Disease

Heart Valve disease symptoms can occur suddenly, depending upon how quickly the disease develops. If it advances slowly, then your heart may adjust and you may not notice the onset of any symptoms easily. Additionally, the severity of the symptoms does not necessarily correlate to the severity of the valve disease. That is, you could have no symptoms at all, but have severe valve disease. Conversely, severe symptoms could arise from even a small valve leak.

Many of the symptoms are similar to those associated with congestive heart failure, such as shortness of breath and wheezing after limited physical exertion and swelling of the feet, ankles, hands or abdomen (edema). Other symptoms include:

  • Swelling on the Ankles abdomen or feet i.e. Edema
  • Discomfort in Chest
  • Dizziness or fainting (with aortic stenosis)
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Weight Gain

When to Visit a Cardiologist

If you have any of the above symptoms, it is important to visit a Cardiologist.

Types of Heart Valve Disease

Valvular heart disease is characterized by damage to or a defect in one of the four heart valves: the mitral, aortic, tricuspid or pulmonary.

The mitral and tricuspid valves control the flow of blood between the atria and the ventricles (the upper and lower chambers of the heart). The pulmonary valve controls the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs, and the aortic valve governs blood flow between the heart and the aorta, and thereby the blood vessels to the rest of the body. The mitral and aortic valves are the ones most frequently affected by valvular heart disease.

Heart valve issues may include:

Regurgitation. In this condition, the valve folds don’t close appropriately, making blood release in reverse in your heart. This regularly happens because of valve flaps protruding back, a condition called prolapse.

Stenosis. In valve stenosis, the valve folds become thick or hardened, and they may combine. This outcomes in a narrow valve opening and decreased blood move through the valve.

Atresia. In this condition, the valve isn’t developed, and a strong sheet of tissue obstructs the blood flow between the heart chambers.

How are Heart Valves Diseases Diagnosed?

Your Cardiologist may examine your signs and symptoms and lead a physical assessment. In a physical assessment, your cardiologist will probably listen for a heart mumble, as this can be an indication of a heart valve condition. Your heart doctor may arrange a few tests to analyze your condition.

Tests may include:

An electrocardiogram is a test that shows the electrical action of the heart. This test is utilized to check for heart rhythms. Which are abnormal

An echocardiogram utilizes sound waves to make an image of the heart valves and chambers.

Cardiovascular catheterization is another test used to analyze valve issue. This test utilizes a slight tube or catheter with a camera to take photos of your heart and veins. This can enable your cardiologist to decide the sort and seriousness of your valve issue.

A chest X-beam might be requested to snap a photo of your heart. This can tell your heart specialist if your heart is enlarged.

An MRI may give a progressively detailed image of your heart. This help in diagnosis and confirmation and enable your cardiologist to decide how to best treat your valve issue.

A stress test sometimes called a treadmill test or exercise test, helps your doctor find out how well your heart handles its workload. As your body works harder during the test, it requires more fuel and your heart has to pump more blood. The test can show if there’s a lack of blood supply through the arteries that go to the heart. Taking a stress test also helps your doctor know the kind and level of physical activity that’s right for you.

Treatment for Heart Valve Disease

The following provides an overview of the treatment options for valvular heart disease:

  • Don’t smoke; follow prevention tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption, excessive salt intake and diet pills—all of which may raise blood pressure.
  • Your doctor may adopt a “watch and wait” policy for mild or asymptomatic cases.
  • A course of antibiotics is prescribed prior to surgery or dental work for those with valvular heart disease, to prevent bacterial endocarditis.
  • Long-term antibiotic therapy is recommended to prevent a recurrence of streptococcal infection in those who have had rheumatic fever.
  • Antithrombotic (clot-preventing) medications such as aspirin or ticlopidine may be prescribed for those with valvular heart disease who have experienced unexplained transient ischemic attacks, also known as TIAs (see this disorder for more information).
  • More potent anticoagulants, such as warfarin, may be prescribed for those who have atrial fibrillation (a common complication of mitral valve disease) or who continue to experience TIAs despite initial treatment. Long-term administration of anticoagulants may be necessary following valve replacement surgery, because prosthetic valves are associated with a higher risk of blood clots.
  • Balloon dilatation (a surgical technique involving insertion into a blood vessel of a small balloon that is led via catheter to the narrowed site and then inflated) may be done to widen a stenotic valve.
  • Valve Surgery to repair or replace a damaged valve may be necessary. Replacement valves may be artificial (prosthetic valves) or made from animal tissue (bioprosthetic valves). The type of replacement valve selected depends on the patient’s age, condition, and the specific valve affected.