There are several types of valve disease, the two most common are valvular stenosis and valvular insufficiency. Valvular stenosis occurs when the opening of the valve is smaller than normal causing the valve to work harder to push blood often resulting in heart failure and other serious conditions. Valvular stenosis can occur in any of the four heart valves, called tricuspid stenosis, pulmonic stenosis, mitral stenosis, and aortic stenosis. Valvular insufficiency, also called regurgitation or “leaky valve”, occurs when the valve does not close all the way. As the leak gets worse over time the heart has to then work harder to make up for the valve that is leaking also causing less blood to flow to the rest of the body. Valvular stenosis can occur in any of the four heart valves, called tricuspid regurgitation, pulmonary regurgitation, mitral regurgitation, and aortic regurgitation.
Sometimes the causes of valve disease are unknown. Some can develop before birth or a person can develop the condition over one’s lifetime. Congenital valve disease often affects the aortic or pulmonic valve from the valve being the wrong size, having malformed cusps, or having cusps that are not attached properly to the annulus. Bicuspid aortic valve disease is a congenital valve disease that affects the aortic valve, instead of the three normal cusps of the tricuspid the bicuspid aortic valve only having two and not having the third cusp causes the valve to become stiff or leaky with this disease. Acquired valve disease is when the problems develop with valves that were once normal. This disease can involve changes in the structure from a variety of diseases or
References: Bibliography Book Neighbors, Marianna & Tannehill-Jones, Ruth. Human Diseases. Clifton Park: Delmar, 2010 Online (1) Harvard Medical School. “Heart Valve Replacement”, available at http://symptomchecker.about.com, February 14, 2005 (2) WebMD Medical Reference in collaboration with The Cleveland Clinic. “Heart Disease: Heart Valve Disease”, available at http://www.medicinenet.com/heart_valve_disease/article.htm, 2011 (3) Mt. Sinai Hospital. “Mitral Valve Function, Mitral Valve Repair, Re-operations and Re-repairs”, available at http://www.mitralvalverepair.org, 2009 – 2010