Most often, aortic valve regurgitation develops gradually, and your heart compensates for the problem. You may have no signs or symptoms for many years, and you may even be unaware that you have this condition.

However, as aortic valve regurgitation gets worse, signs and symptoms usually appear and may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness, especially when you increase your activity level
  • Shortness of breath with exertion or when you lie flat
  • Chest pain (angina), discomfort or tightness, often increasing during exercise
  • Fainting
  • Irregular pulse (arrhythmia)
  • Heart murmur
  • Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat
  • Swollen ankles and feet (edema)

When to see a doctor

Take the signs and symptoms of aortic valve regurgitation seriously and call or see a doctor right away if they develop. Sometimes the first indications of aortic valve regurgitation are those of its major complication, congestive heart failure. Signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure — a serious condition — include fatigue, shortness of breath, and swollen ankles and feet.

Sep. 22, 2011

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