Your risk of aortic regurgitation is greater if you've been affected by any of the following factors:

  • Aortic valve damage. Inflammation associated with certain conditions, such as endocarditis or rheumatic fever, can damage your aortic valve.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure causes your heart to work harder, increasing the workload for your aortic valve, which can make it less elastic and prone to leaks.
  • Malformed aortic valve. If you were born with a unicuspid or bicuspid aortic valve, your chances of having aortic regurgitation increase.
  • Disease. Certain conditions, including Marfan syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis and syphilis, may cause the aortic root (where the aorta attaches to the ventricle) to widen, resulting in a leaky aortic valve.
Sep. 22, 2011