Aortic regurgitation is leakage of the aortic valve each time the left ventricle relaxes.
A leaking (or regurgitant) aortic valve allows blood to flow in two directions. Oxygen-rich blood either flows out through the aorta to the body — as it should — but some flows
backwards from the aorta into the left ventricle when the ventricle relaxes.
What happens during aortic regurgitation?
The heart will have to do more work to compensate for the blood leak back into the left ventricle. The walls of the ventricle will sometimes thicken (hypertrophy), and a thickened heart muscle is a less effective pump. Eventually, the heart maybe
unable to pump enough to meet the body’s need for blood, leading to heart failure.
What are the symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation?
Mild aortic regurgitation may produce few symptoms.
People with more severe aortic regurgitation may notice heart palpitations, chest pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath. Other symptoms include difficulty breathing when lying down, weakness, fainting, or swollen ankles and feet.