Heart valve disease

What is it?

Complication of some diseases, which distorts or destroys the valves of the heart.

Affected parts All four heart valves can be affected, but it is much more frequent in those of the left chamber (mitral and aortic) than in those of the right (tricuspid and pulmonary).

Age It can affect any age, without sexual preferences.

Causes

The heart has 4 valves. The mitral and tricuspid (main valves) control blood flow between the blood-receiving atria and the ventricles, which drive it. The pulmonary and aortic valves prevent blood from flowing back into the heart after it is pushed through the ventricles. Heart valve involvement may consist of narrowing of the valves (stenosis), which obstructs blood flow, or widening or scarring of the valves, which allows blood to return backwards (insufficiency). This disease can be inherited or caused by:

  • Rheumatic fever (a complication of strep throat).
  • Congenital heart defects.
  • Valve infections (endocarditis) after a blood infection (drug self-injection carries a very high risk).
  • Syphilis (rarely).

symptom

  • No symptoms (sometimes).
  • Fatigue and weakness.
  • Dizziness or light-headedness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pulmonary congestion.
  • Heart rhythm irregularities.
  • Heart murmurs (abnormal heart sounds heard by the doctor through the stethoscope).
  • Blood pressure abnormalities (high or low).

Risk factor’s

  • Age over 60 years.
  • Family history of heart valve involvement.
  • Fatigue or overwork.
  • Parenteral drug administration.

Prevention

Seek medical treatment for diseases that cause heart valve injury, such as hypertension, endocarditis, and syphilis. Take antibiotics for strep infections to prevent rheumatic fever. If you have a family history of congenital heart disease, ask for genetic counseling before having children.

Diagnosis

  • History and physical examination by a physician.
  • Analysis of blood. Electrocardiograph.

Static and dynamic visualization techniques, such as:

  • Cardiac ultrasound, sometimes through the esophagus.
  • Cardiac catheterization.
  • X-rays of the heart, lungs, and blood flow (angiography).

Treatment

The treatment is based on:

  • Medical treatment.
  • Surgery to replace or open defective valves (sometimes).

General measures

Tell any doctor, dentist, or anesthetist that you are going to be treated that you have a heart valve condition. Remind them, even if you think they already know the details of your medical history.

Medication

Your doctor may prescribe:

  • Antibiotics to treat or prevent heart valve infections.
  • Antiarrhythmic drugs to combat irregularities of the heart rhythm.
  • Digital medication to reinforce or regularize the heart rate.
  • Diuretics to reduce cardiac overload.

Exercise

All that I can tolerate. With certain forms of heart valve involvement, restrictions are not necessary.

Diet

Low in fat and salt.

Notify your doctor if signs of infection appear such as:

  • Shaking chills.
  • Muscle pains.
  • Fatigue and general discomfort.
  • You have a sudden worsening of symptoms.

Possible complications

  • Valve infection.
  • Congestive heart failure (the heart cannot bear the overload caused by valve injury).

Forecast

It depends on the primary ailment. Many complications of valve disease can be controlled with medication or cured with surgery.

 

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