About Valvular Heart Disease

The heart valves are the gateways between different chambers in the heart and they can develop problems of either regurgitation (commonly called “leakiness,” though nothing is leaking out of the heart), where the valve doesn’t close completely; or stenosis, where the valve doesn’t open fully.  We have four valves, two in the left-sided chambers and two in the right side: aortic (leading out of the left ventricle into the aorta, which is the large artery supplying blood to the whole body), mitral (separating the left atrium from left ventricle), pulmonic (leading out of the right ventricle into the pulmonary artery and into the lungs), and the tricuspid (separating the right atrium from right ventricle).  Echocardiography is the most common test we perform to assess the functioning of the valves.


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Gregory Koshkarian, MD, FACC