Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular heart disease refers to conditions where the valves of the heart do not function properly, leading to impaired blood flow. Two common forms of valvular heart disease are mitral regurgitation and aortic stenosis. Here’s some key information about these conditions:

Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral regurgitation occurs when the mitral valve, located between the left atrium and left ventricle, does not close properly, resulting in the backward flow of blood. Here are some important points:


Mitral regurgitation can be caused by various factors, including degenerative changes, heart muscle damage (such as from a heart attack), infective endocarditis, or congenital abnormalities. Its prevalence increases with age.


Mild mitral regurgitation may not cause noticeable symptoms. However, as the condition worsens, symptoms can include fatigue, shortness of breath (especially during exertion), heart palpitations, and swelling in the ankles or feet.


Treatment for mitral regurgitation depends on the severity of symptoms and the impact on heart function. Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms and prevent complications. In some cases, surgical repair or replacement of the mitral valve may be necessary to restore normal blood flow.

Aortic Stenosis

Aortic stenosis occurs when the aortic valve, which controls blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta, becomes narrowed, impeding the flow of blood. Here’s some important information about aortic stenosis:


Aortic stenosis is most commonly caused by age-related degenerative changes in the valve, although it can also result from congenital abnormalities or rheumatic fever. It is more prevalent in older adults.


Initially, aortic stenosis may not cause symptoms, but as it progresses, symptoms can include chest pain or tightness, fatigue, shortness of breath (especially during exertion), lightheadedness, and fainting.


Treatment for aortic stenosis depends on the severity of symptoms and the patient’s overall health. Medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms, but the definitive treatment for severe aortic stenosis is often valve replacement. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) is a non-invasive procedure we provide, where a new valve is placed via a catheter without the need for open-heart surgery. Dr Dylan Wynne performs this procedure at Sydney Adventist Hospital.


Echocardiography, or heart ultrasound, plays a vital role in the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease. It provides detailed images of the heart’s structure and function, allowing healthcare professionals to assess the severity of valve abnormalities, monitor disease progression, and guide treatment decisions.

Please note that the information provided is a general overview, and specific treatment decisions should be made in consultation with a your cardiologist.

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