rheumatic heart disease

Valvular heart disease

Valvular heart disease is any disease process involving one or more of the valves of the heart (the aortic and mitral valves on the left and the pulmonary and tricuspid valves on the right). Valve problems may be congenital (inborn) or acquired (due to another cause later in life). Treatment may be with medication but often (depending on the severity) involves valve repair or replacement (insertion of an artificial heart valve). Specific situations include those where additional demands are made on the circulation, such as in pregnancy.


Valve involved Stenotic disease Insufficiency disease
Aortic valve Aortic valve stenosis Aortic insufficiency
Mitral valve Mitral valve stenosis Mitral insufficiency
Tricuspid valve Tricuspid valve stenosis Tricuspid insufficiency
Pulmonary valve Pulmonary valve stenosis Pulmonary insufficiency

Heart valve dysplasia is an error in the development of any of the heart valves, and a common cause of congenital heart defects in humans as well as animals; tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect with four abnormalities, one of which is stenosis of the pulmonary valve. Ebstein's anomaly is an abnormality of the tricuspid valve.

Rheumatic fever was in the past a common cause of valvular heart disease (referred to as "rheumatic heart disease"). Inflammation of the heart valves due to any cause is called endocarditis; this is usually due to bacterial infection but may also be due to cancer (marantic endocarditis), certain autoimmune conditions (Libman-Sacks endocarditis) and hypereosinophilic syndrome (Loeffler endocarditis). Certain medications have been associated with valvular heart disease, most prominently ergotamine derivatives pergolide and cabergoline.


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