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Heart Valve Disease Heart Valve
Problems Regurgitation, or backflow, occurs when a valve doesn’t close tightly. Blood leaks back into the chamber rather than flowing forward through the heart or into an artery.
In the United States, backflow is most often due to prolapse. "Prolapse" is when the flaps of the valve flop or bulge back into an upper heart chamber during a heartbeat. Prolapse mainly affects the mitral valve, but it can affect the other valves as well. Stenosis occurs when the flaps of a valve thicken, stiffen, or fuse together. This prevents the heart valve from fully opening, and not enough blood flows through the valve. Some valves can have both stenosis and backflow problems. Atresia occurs when a heart valve lacks an opening for blood to pass through. Heart valve disease is a condition in which one or more of your heart valves don't work properly.
The heart has four valves: the tricuspid, pulmonary, mitral, and aortic valves. Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. nhlbi.nih.gov LifeART Collection Images Copyright © 1989-2001 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, MD Mitral Valves Aortic Valves Tricuspid