Veteran's Health Library Menu

Health Encyclopedia

Related Reading

Heart Valve Problems: Aortic Insufficiency

Aortic insufficiency means your aortic valve has problems closing. Blood leaks back through the valve. Extra blood may cause the ventricle to stretch. A stretched ventricle doesn’t squeeze as well. In time, the heart won’t move blood the way it should.

Top view of closed aortic valve with insufficiency.
Closed aortic valve with insufficiency (viewed from above). The valve does not close all the way, allowing blood to leak backward.

Cross section of heart showing aortic valve with insufficiency.

Possible causes

People with aortic insufficiency can be born with the problem, and often feel no symptoms. Or, the aortic valve may have been damaged by rheumatic fever or a heart infection. It can also occur after a cardiac event, such as a heart attack. There may be other causes of aortic valve insufficiency.

Treating aortic insufficiency

Your doctor may prescribe medicines. These can make it easier for the heart to move your blood. To treat severe insufficiency, heart valve surgery may be needed, especially if you develop symptoms.

Author: StayWell Custom Communications
Last Annual Review Date: 8/1/2019
Copyright © The StayWell Company, LLC. except where otherwise noted.
Disclaimer - Opens 'Disclaimer' in Dialog Window | Help | About Veterans Health Library