Aortic Insufficiency Disease – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment – Aortic valve insufficiency (AVI) or commonly known as aortic valve regurgitation is a condition when the aortic valve of the heart does not close tightly.

As a result, some of the blood pumped out of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle) leaks backwards.

Leaks can inhibit the work of the heart until the sufferer feels tired and short of breath.

Also read: 8 Symptoms of Aortic Dissection, Torn Aortic Blood Vessels to Watch Out for


Aortic valve insufficiency can appear without many noticeable symptoms for years. As the damage progresses, symptoms can appear suddenly, including:

  • chest pain or tightness that increases with exercise and subsides with rest
  • fatigue
  • heart palpitations (palpitations)
  • hard to breathe
  • difficulty breathing when lying down
  • weakness
  • faint
  • swollen ankles and feet.


Any condition that prevents the aortic valve from closing completely can cause this problem. When the valves don’t close completely, some of the blood returns each time the heart beats.

When a large amount of blood returns, the heart has to work harder to expel enough blood to meet the body’s needs.

The lower left ventricle of the heart is dilated (dilated) and the heart is beating very vigorously. Over time, the working efficiency of the heart decreases in supplying enough blood to the body.

Initially, rheumatic fever is the main cause of aortic regurgitation. The use of antibiotics to treat strep infections has made rheumatic fever less common.

Read also: Aortic Regurgitation

Some other causes that can cause aortic insufficiency, namely:

  • spondilitis ankilosa
  • aortic dissection
  • congenital valve problems (present at birth), such as the bicuspid valve
  • endocarditis (infection of heart valves)
  • high blood pressure
  • sindrom marfan
  • sindrom rider (arthritis reactive)
  • syphilis
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • trauma to the chest.

Aortic insufficiency is most common in men between the ages of 30 and 60.


Even without showing symptoms, doctors can at least suspect if a person has aortic regurgitation by listening to the heartbeat through a stethoscope.

If there is a whooshing sound between beats, it could mean someone has a heart valve problem.

A whooshing sound indicates abnormal blood flow through the valve.

Several tests are used to diagnose aortic valve regurgitation, viz.

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). An instrument for recording the electrical activity of the heart. ECG examination can also be done in conjunction with other tests, such as the tilt table test and exercise test.
  • echocardiogram. This test can find the source of a clot in the heart that may have moved to the brain and caused a stroke.
  • Cardiac MRI. The use of radio waves and magnets to provide detailed visualization of the heart and detect damaged blood vessels.
  • Chest X-Ray (X-Ray). X-rays can show if the heart or aorta is enlarged and also show lung conditions.

Also read: Aortic Stenosis


Possible complications include:

  • abnormal heart rhythm
  • heart failure
  • liver infection.


No treatment is needed for mild cases of regurgitation. However, it still requires regular monitoring.

If a person with aortic insufficiency has high blood pressure, the doctor may prescribe medication and suggest lifestyle changes to control it.

In some more serious cases, aortic valve replacement may be an option.

The procedure can be performed by traditional open surgery or by a relatively newer procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Without having to dissect the chest, the TAVR procedure uses a catheter that runs through the arteries to the aortic valve.

The doctor then inserts a replacement valve at the location of the damaged valve.

Once the new valve is in place, the doctor will remove the catheter and the heart will work normally.

Read also: Aortic Dissection

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This article is not intended for self-diagnosis. Please always consult a doctor to get the right examination and treatment.



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