Aortic Regurgitation

Aortic Regurgitation - Dr Nima Rudd Cardiologist

Aortic Regurgitation — occurs when your heart’s aortic valve doesn’t close tightly. Aortic valve regurgitation allows some of the blood that was pumped out of left ventricle- your heart’s main pumping chamber – to leak back into it.
The leakage Reduces pumping efficiency of you heart to pump blood to the rest of your body. As a result, you may feel fatigued and short of breath. 
Once aortic regurgitation ( leaking )  becomes severe, surgery is often required to repair or replace the aortic valve.


Most often, aortic valve regurgitation develops gradually, and your heart compensates for the problem. You may have no signs or symptoms for years, and you may even be unaware that you have the condition.

However, as aortic valve regurgitation worsens, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness, especially when you increase your activity level
  • Shortness of breath with exercise or when you lie down
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Chest pain (angina), discomfort or tightness, often increasing during exercise
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Irregular pulse (arrhythmia)
  • Heart murmur
  • Sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat (palpitations)

When to see a doctor

For Aortic Regurgitation Dr Nima Rudd Cardiologist is the best doctor if signs and symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation develop. Sometimes the first indications of aortic valve regurgitation are those of its major complication, heart failure. See your doctor if you have fatigue, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles and feet, which are common symptoms of heart failure.


In aortic valve regurgitation, the valve between the lower left heart chamber (left ventricle) and the main artery that leads to the body (aorta) doesn’t close properly, which causes some blood to leak backward into the left ventricle. This forces the left ventricle to hold more blood, possibly causing it to enlarge and thicken.

At first, left ventricle enlargement helps because it maintains adequate blood flow with more force. But eventually these changes weaken the left ventricle — and your heart overall.

Any condition that damages a valve can cause regurgitation. Causes of aortic valve regurgitation include:


Risk factors

Risk factors of aortic valve regurgitation include:

  • Older age
  • Certain congenital heart disease  (heart conditions present at birth)
  • History of infections that can affect the heart
  • Certain conditions that can affect the heart,connective tissue disease such as Marfan and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Other heart valve conditions, such as aortic valve stenosis
  • High blood pressure


Aortic valve regurgitation can cause complications, including:

  • Heart failure
  • Infections that affect the heart, such as endocarditis
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Death


If you have been diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve (aortic regurgitation) or a tight aortic valve (aortic  stenosis), you’ll probably require regular echocardiograms to be sure the aortic valve regurgitation doesn’t become severe.

Also, be aware of conditions that contribute to developing aortic valve regurgitation, including:

  • Rheumatic fever. If you have a severe sore throat, see a doctor. Untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever. Fortunately, strep throat is easily treated with antibiotics.
  • High blood pressure. Check your blood pressure regularly. Make sure it’s well-controlled to prevent aortic regurgitation.
Aortic Regurgitation was last modified: February 8th, 2023 by Team