Causes, Symptoms, Treatment & Tests For Heart Valve Disorder

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The heart is one of the most important organs within the human body and any complications that concern the heart could result in something very serious. The heart muscle consists of four chambers and must beat in an organized manner for proper functioning. If the heart is in a healthy condition and is functioning normally and correctly, the heart valves ensure that all the blood flows properly from one direction to another. Any hitches would mean that there is one of two complications that could arise. In the event that a valve has narrowed, the heart muscle would need to pump much harder in order to ensure that all the blood passes through the valve while, in case the valve does not close fully, there is a chance that back flow could occur.

Tests Recommended

Heart valve disorder test are performed once the patient has complained of all the indicative symptoms. The tests include listening to the opening and closing of the heart valves and the flow of blood through them as well as performing an echocardiogram. An echocardiogram is a medical test that uses sound waves in order to provide the doctor with detailed images of the heart valves moving while the heart continues to beat. An MRI scan may also be ordered in order to get detailed images of the insides of the heart while taking an x-ray image of the chest area is also performed in order to look for any lung abnormalities and major vessel problems.


There are a number of heart valve disorder causes. While the condition can develop as a result of an infection, studies have shown that most of them are congenital and acquired during your lifetime. The acquired instances of the condition are usually the result of changes in the structure of your heart valve as a result of the mineral deposits in the valve or surrounding tissue.


Heart valve disorders will, initially at least, not show up any prominent symptoms, but over time - the heart is likely to weaken because of the excess workload that it has to bear and will then collapse if not taken care of. Heart valve disorder symptoms will usually be noticeable after the heart has already started to significantly weaken. Some of the more common symptoms that you are likely to experience include

  • Shortness of Breath.
  • Weakness or Dizziness.
  • Palpitations.
  • Rapid Weight Gain.
  • Significant discomfort in the chest area.

It is important to understand that the intensity of the symptoms does not always correlate to the seriousness of the condition - especially when the symptoms are mild. Irrespective of the intensity of the symptoms, it is essential that you make sure with your doctor and have him/her take care of the condition.


Heart valve disorder treatment is primarily focused on ensuring that the condition is not allowed to get any worse. Medical and medicinal treatment of the condition will depend on the type and severity of the condition. Surgery is considered to be a last option step to be performed in the event that you suffer from heart valve disease and the various surgical options available to you as a patient include heart valve repair or replacement. Medications are also administered in order to reduce the intensity of the symptoms you experience and thereby allow you to lead a more relaxed life. Make it a point to inform the doctor you visit in the future as well as dentists that you suffer from heart valve disease. This will help them in the treatments that they suggest. Make it a point to take good care of your gums and teeth to prevent any infections as this is known to make the heart condition worse.