What is heart valve disease? Heart valve disease is a condition in which one or more of your heart’s four valves — the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral and aortic — don't work correctly.
What are the leading problems caused by valves working improperly?
The three leading types of problems caused by valves working improperly are:
Regurgitation Stenosis Atresia
Regurgitation, or backflow, occurs when the valve does not close tightly. This causes blood to leak back into the chambers instead of flowing through the heart or into an artery. This is most often due to “prolapse,” which is when the flaps of the valve are floppy or bulge back into an upper heart chamber during a heartbeat. Prolapse is most common in the mitral valve.
With stenosis, the flaps of a valve thicken or stiffen. When this happens, the valve does not fully open, not allowing enough blood to flow through the valve. Some valves can have both stenosis and regurgitation.
Atresia occurs if a heart valve lacks an opening for blood to pass through.