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UNDERSTANDING HEART VALVE DISORDERS

Dr. P. A. Jiwani, Monday, October 28, 2019

Understanding Heart Valve Disorders

India is the emerging capital of heart diseases worldwide. Heart attacks are mainly caused due to heart valve disorders.


The Heart has four valves namely:

  • Aortic Valve
  • Mitral Valve
  • Pulmonary valve
  • Tricuspid Valve

Heart valve disease happens when either of these valves fails to perform their assigned routine functions.


The functions of the heart valves:

The job of our heart valves is to ensure the free flow of blood in the forward direction and ensure that there is no leakage backward.

The open tricuspid and mitral valves ensure smooth blood flow from the right and left atria into the ventricles. When the ventricles start to contract, the pulmonic and aortic valves are forced to open to pump blood. Blood flow from the right ventricle passes through the pulmonic valve into the pulmonary artery, and blood flow from the left ventricle passes through the open aortic valve into the aorta and flows to the rest of the body.

As the ventricles finish contracting and start to relax, the aortic and pulmonic valves close in. These valves ensure to prevent blood flow from getting back into the ventricles. This is a continuous process with each heartbeat ensuring the smooth supply of blood to all organs.


Major types of heart valve disorders:

  • Valvular Stenosis: The leaflets of the heart valves stiffen, and they don’t open to their maximum capacity leading to heart failure. Stenosis can occur in any four valves and the conditions are called tricuspid stenosis, pulmonic stenosis, mitral stenosis, or aortic stenosis.
  • Valvular insufficiency: Also termed regurgitation, incompetence, or "leaky valve,” in medical terminology occurs when a valve does not close in tightly. If the valves fail to close in tightly, the blood flow leaks backward and there is poor blood supply to all organs of the body. The conditions are called tricuspid regurgitation, pulmonary regurgitation, mitral regurgitation, or aortic regurgitation depending upon the damaged valve.
  • Congenital valve disease: There is a malformation of valves right from the birth ad that usually affects the aortic or pulmonary valves.
  • Bicuspid Valve disease: It is congenital and affects the aortic valve. A normal person has three cusps. in the condition of the bicuspid aortic valve the person has only two, due to which the valve leaks or may become stiff
  • Acquired Valve diseases: A person may have normal valves, and in later stages may acquire valve diseases, like rheumatic fever or inflammation of heart valves due to bacterial infections. Endocarditis also damages the heart valves as the bacteria enter the bloodstream and start damaging the same.

Conditions such as mitral valve prolapsed coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy up the risk of valvular heart disorders.

Symptoms: the noticeable symptoms are

  • Shortness of breath
  • Extreme weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling heavy in the chest
  • Palpitations
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Swelling of feet, ankles, and abdomen are known as edema

The symptoms start to show up depending upon the severity of the condition.


The diagnosis depends upon the reports of the following tests:

  • Angiogram or cardiac catheterization
  • Echocardiography
  • Transesophageal cardiography
  • A physical examination using a stethoscope is done to see if the heart is retaining any fluid.

Treatment options: The treatment options vary from person to person based on the symptoms. The first stage disease is treated with medications such as:

  • Diuretics: to remove excess fluid from the body
  • Anti-arrhythmic medications: to control the irregular heartbeat
  • Vasodilators: are used to help the heart pump blood properly
  • ACE- inhibitors, beta-blockers, anticoagulants help stabilize your situation.

In critical cases, heart, valve replacement through minimally invasive surgery or traditional surgery can improve the situation.


Preventive measures include:

  • Good diet
  • Exercises
  • Periodic heart check-ups

KIMS is a renowned heart care hospital with state of the art facilities. The best cardiologists and heart valve specialists in Hyderabad are in KIMS hospital. Eminent and well experienced cardiothoracic surgeons like Dr. B Bhaskar Rao and his team have diagnosed many patients with heart valve diseases and treated them with the best possible outcomes and positive results. KIMS is well known for its heart wellness center and cardiac rehabilitation for various cardiac problems. Dr. Ravikanth heads the heart valve center and has vast experience in treating heart valve diseases and the most critical cases have been admitted and attended in emergencies and many valuable lives have been saved. Our heart helpline is available 24*7.

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