Aortic Insufficiency: Causes
The aorta is the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. After each heart beat, the valve closes tightly to prevent blood from flowing backwards into the heart. Aortic insufficiency occurs when the aortic valve does not close tightly enough.
There are two types of aortic insufficiency:
- Acute aortic insufficiency —symptoms develop rapidly, and in severe cases, immediate surgery may be needed
- Chronic aortic insufficiency —symptoms develop over the course of many months or years
Aortic Valve Insufficiency
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Aortic insufficiency can be caused by:
- A birth defect of the aortic valve
- Severe high blood pressure
- Bacterial infection of the aortic valve such as rheumatic fever
- Injury to the aortic valve
- Certain inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus,temporal arteritis, andReiter’s syndrome
- Certain genetic conditions such as brittle bone disease, Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and cystic fibrosis
- Heart abnormalities such as septal defect
Sometimes the cause of aortic insufficiency is unknown.
Last reviewedAugust 2014by Michael J. Fucci, DO
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.