The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle (the heart's main pumping chamber) and the aorta (the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the body). Each time the heart pumps, the aortic valve opens and creates a one-way gate through which blood flows out to the body. Aortic valve disease is a condition where the aortic valve is not working properly. This condition may be present at birth (congenital) or develop over time with illness, calcium build-up or simple wear and tear.
Common aortic valve problems include:
- Aortic valve regurgitation is a problem that allows blood to leak back into the heart after each beat.
- Aortic valve stenosis is a narrowed opening that limits blood flow out of the heart.
- Mixed aortic regurgitation and stenosis occurs when the valve is both narrowing and obstructing flow and also fails to close completely, causing blood to flow back into the heart.