Valvular Heart Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Valvular Heart

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Valvular heart disease (VHD) is a condition characterized by defective functioning of the cardiac valves, which are responsible for regulating the flow of blood in and out of the heart. VHD is a problem affecting the structure and composition of the valves, which can ultimately weaken the ability of the valves to control the flow of blood. Common causes of VHD include age-related degeneration, viral infection, congenital malformations, inflammation, and damaged valves due to trauma, surgery, or radiation.

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Symptoms of Valvular Heart Disease

The most common signs and symptoms of VHD are chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, lightheadedness, fainting, and palpitations. Furthermore, symptoms may vary according to the location and severity of valvular disease.

Treatment of Valvular Heart Disease

The most appropriate treatment of VHD depends on the underlying cause, the severity of symptoms, the affected valve, and the overall health of the patient.

  • Medications such as anti-arrhythmic, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet drugs can be prescribed to treat some forms of VHD.
  • In cases of severe VHD, surgery may be required to repair the valves.
  • When medications and surgery are not effective, transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) or transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) may be recommended.
  • In some cases, minimally-invasive catheter-based procedures may be used to treat VHD.

Health Effects of Valvular Heart Disease

VHD can have many serious health consequences including heart failure, stroke, arrhythmia, heart valve infection (endocarditis), and sudden cardiac death. It is important to consult your doctor if you are suffering from any of the symptoms of valvular heart disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce complications or delay the progression of this condition.

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