What is Valvular Heart Disease?
Valvular heart disease (VHD) occurs when heart valves don't work as well as they should because of problems caused by disease, aging or a birth defect. Problems can include valves that do not open properly caused by a narrowing (stenosis) or weak valves that do not close properly, which result in the blood flowing backward (regurgitation).
Diseases of the heart valves are classified according to the specific valve involved and the type of valve defect. The most common abnormalities are:
Any problem with a valve makes the heart work harder, and to make up for this extra workload the heart may get larger. When the heart can no longer pump adequately, heart failure may occur and unmanaged heart failure may lead to the need for a ventricular assist device (VAD) or heart transplant.
Learn more about how valvular heart disease is diagnosed and treated.
Frequently asked questions about valvular heart disease.