What Happens If the Valves of the Heart Do Not Function Properly?

by admin | October 30, 2019 10:54 am

Oxygen is the life-giving element that helps the human body work efficiently; blood is the carrier through which oxygen is delivered to various parts of the body. The heart and the pair of lungs work in tandem to transport oxygen-rich blood to various parts of the body; the de-oxygenated blood is sent to the lungs for purification. These 2 cycles of blood-flow are happening constantly and are regulated by 4 valves present in the 4 chambers of the heart. The 4 chambers are – right and left atrium at the top, and right and left ventricle at the bottom.

Deoxygenated blood from various parts of the body is brought to the right atrium. The right atrium contracts to push this blood into the right ventricle, with the flow being regulated by the tricuspid valve. The right ventricle then contracts to push this blood in to the pulmonary artery which carries the blood to the lungs for purification. This flow is regulated by the pulmonary valve.

The oxygenated blood coming from the lungs is delivered to the left atrium. The left atrium then contracts to push this blood into the left ventricle, with the flow being regulated by the mitral valve. The left ventricle then contracts to push the blood into the aorta from where it’s carried to the rest of the body. This flow is regulated by the aortic valve.

The 4 valves open and close to ensure blood always flows in the forward direction and does not recede back. A valve is made up of flaps or cusps which cover the opening and open or shut as required. When this process, or functioning of the valves, is affected, blood is not transported adequately, or in time, and the condition is called valvular heart disease.

Types of Valvular Heart Disease

Causes

Valvular conditions can arise after any of these: rheumatic fever (a bacterial infection), high blood pressure, coronary artery disease[2], aortic aneurysms, heart attack[3], connective tissue disease, cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), syphilis (a sexually transmitted disease), certain tumours, certain drugs and radiation for cancer treatment.

Risk Factors

Most of the risk factors for heart disease in general are also risk factors for valvular disease. These include a history of heart attack, heart ailments, congenital heart defects, high BP, high cholesterol, diabetes and old age.

Complications

Valvular heart disease that is left untreated or undiagnosed can result in a heart attack, heart failure, stroke[4], blood clots, arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) and death too.


Also Read:  Heart Diseases and Symptoms[5]


Symptoms

Depending on the exact nature of the valvular condition, the patient may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

Diagnosing and Treating Valvular Heart Disease

If you suffer any of the above symptoms, consult a reputed hospital. The Best Cardiologist in Chennai[6] will prescribe a series of tests to assess the type and extent of the valvular disease. Once diagnosed as positive for valvular disease, the doctor will recommend medication, incisive surgery or minimally invasive options as relevant to your case.

Endnotes:
  1. mitral valve: https://www.kauveryhospital.com/blog/k-way-health/cardiology/transcatheter-mitral-valve-replacement/
  2. coronary artery disease: https://www.kauveryhospital.com/blog/k-way-health/importance-of-medicines-diet-and-physical-activity-to-control-coronary-heart-disease/
  3. heart attack: https://www.kauveryhospital.com/blog/k-way-health/cardiology/is-it-heartburn-or-a-heart-attack/
  4. stroke: https://www.kauveryhospital.com/blog/k-way-health/be-fast-on-managing-stroke/
  5. Heart Diseases and Symptoms: https://www.kauveryhospital.com/blog/k-way-health/heart-diseases-and-symptoms-a-mini-reference-guide/
  6. Best Cardiologist in Chennai: https://www.kauveryhospital.com/Centers-of-Excellence-and-Specialties/Cardiology-Doctors/Chennai

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