Heart Valve Disorders: Overview

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:40 by admin
As its name suggests, valvular heart disease is a condition that affects the valves within the heart. There are four such valves that open and close to control blood flow into and out of the heart.

A healthy heart valve functions efficiently by not closing too tightly or too loosely. When a valve fails to close tightly enough, the blood that is supposed to flow out of the heart can reverse itself and come back into the heart. Such action is called regurgitation and causes the heart to work harder than necessary.

Regurgitation can be fatal in severe cases. Some sufferers experience shortness of breath, excessive tiredness, chest pain, fainting, and swelling of the legs (edema). However, valvular heart disease may have no symptoms, and often the condition can only be discovered by a visit to your doctor. Common types of heart valve disorders include mitral valve regurgitation, aortic regurgitation, and mitral valve prolapse (also known as Barlow's syndrome, billowing mitral valve, floppy mitral valve, myxomatous mitral valve, prolapsing mitral leaflet syndrome, and systolic click-murmur syndrome).

Certain medications, such as the diet drugs Fen-Phen, Redux and Pondimin have been shown to cause heart valve disorders.

See Also

  1. Heart Problems
  2. Fen-Phen
  3. Permax Recall
  4. Pondimin
  5. Redux
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