|CRDAMC Homepage | CRDAMC Library Phone #: (254) 288-8366 | CRDAMC Library Fax #: (254) 288-8368|
(Aortic Regurgitation; Aortic Incompetence)
by Krisha McCoy, MS
The aorta is the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. After each heartbeat, the valve closes tightly to prevent blood from flowing backwards into the heart. Aortic insufficiency occurs when the aortic valve does not close tightly enough.
There are two types of aortic insufficiency:
Aortic insufficiency can be caused by:
Sometimes the cause of aortic insufficiency is unknown.
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase your chances of aortic insufficiency include:
Symptoms of aortic insufficiency include:
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be taken of your heart. This can be done with:
Treatment options depend on the severity and history of the valve leakage. It also depends on its effects on the heart’s size and function. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you.
In chronic and slowly progressive aortic insufficiency, treatment may involve taking medication. Surgery is needed in severe cases.
Depending on your condition, your doctor may schedule routine physical exams and echocardiograms.
Medications cannot fix the valve, but they can be used to treat aortic insufficiency. Medication used may include:
If the condition is rapidly declining, surgery is needed.
There are several open heart surgeries that can fix leaking valves. The type chosen will depend on the valve and the knowledge of the surgeon.
Aortic insufficiency may not be preventable. If you have a family history, talk with your doctor about screening tests.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Public Health Agency of Canada
Aortic regurgitation. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated September 1, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Coarctation of aorta. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 16, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Congenital heart defects. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 2015. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Explore congenital heart defects. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd. Updated July 1, 2011. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Problem: Aortic valve regurgitation. American Heart Association website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated September 7, 2017. Accessed September 15, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC
Last Updated: 8/20/2014
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.