Aortic valve regurgitation — or any heart valve problem — puts you at risk of endocarditis. Endocarditis is an infection of the heart's inner lining — the endocardium. This membrane lines the four chambers and four valves of your heart. Typically, this infection involves one of the heart valves, especially if it's already damaged. If the aortic valve is leaky, it's more prone to infection than is a healthy valve. You can develop endocarditis when bacteria from another part of your body spread through your bloodstream and lodge in your heart.

When it's mild, aortic valve regurgitation may never cause a serious threat to your health. But when it's severe, aortic valve regurgitation may lead to heart failure. Heart failure is a serious condition in which your heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.

Sep. 22, 2011

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