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Valvular Heart Disease

Valvular Heart Disease is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • Mitral stenosis:
    • Obstruction of diastolic blood flow into the left ventricle (LV)
  • Mitral regurgitation:
    • Inadequate closure of the leaflets allows retrograde blood flow into the left atrium (LA).
    • Acute: Pressure overload in LA and pulmonary veins causing acute pulmonary edema
    • Chronic: LV volume overload with dilatation and hypertrophy with LA enlargement
  • Aortic stenosis:
    • Obstruction of LV outflow with increased systolic gradient
    • Progressive increase in LV systolic pressure and concentric hypertrophy
  • Aortic regurgitation:
    • Acute LV pressure and volume overload leading to left-heart failure and pulmonary edema
    • Chronic volume overload with LV dilation and hypertrophy

Pregnancy Considerations
Pregnancy is associated with significant hemodynamic changes that can aggravate valvular heart disease and increase the risk of thromboembolic events.

Geriatric Considerations
  • Degenerative valvular disease is most common (aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation)
  • Aortic valve replacement is the most common surgical procedure


  • Mitral stenosis:
    • Rheumatic fever
    • Cardiac tumors
    • Rheumatologic disorders (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis)
    • Myxoma
    • Congenital defects: Parachute valve
  • Mitral regurgitation (acute):
    • Ruptured papillary muscle (infarction, trauma)
    • Papillary muscle dysfunction (ischemia)
    • Ruptured chordae tendineae (trauma, endocarditis, myxomatous)
    • Valve perforation (endocarditis)
    • Weight-loss medications (fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine)
  • Aortic stenosis:
    • Congenital aortic stenosis: Male > female (4:1)
    • Congenital bicuspid valve (1–2%)
    • Rheumatic aortic stenosis
    • Calcific aortic stenosis
  • Aortic regurgitation:
    • Infective endocarditis
    • Rupture of sinus of Valsalva
    • Acute aortic dissection
    • Chest trauma
    • Following valve surgery
    • Bicuspid aortic valve
    • Rheumatic fever
    • Weight-loss medications (fenfluramine, dexfenfluramine)
    • Collagen vascular or connective-tissue diseases
    • Systematic lupus erythematosus
    • Marfan syndrome
    • Pseudoxanthoma elasticum
    • Ankylosing spondylitis
    • Ehlers–Danlos syndrome
    • Polymyalgia rheumatica

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Rosen, Peter, et al., editors. "Valvular Heart Disease." 5-Minute Emergency Consult, 5th ed., Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2016. Emergency Central, emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307093/0.1/Valvular_Heart_Disease.
Valvular Heart Disease. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, et al, eds. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. 5th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307093/0.1/Valvular_Heart_Disease. Accessed June 17, 2019.
Valvular Heart Disease. (2016). In Rosen, P., Shayne, P., Barkin, A. Z., Wolfe, R. E., Hayden, S. R., Barkin, R. M., & Schaider, J. J. (Eds.), 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Available from https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307093/0.1/Valvular_Heart_Disease
Valvular Heart Disease [Internet]. In: Rosen P, Shayne P, Barkin AZ, Wolfe RE, Hayden SR, Barkin RM, Schaider JJ, editors. 5-Minute Emergency Consult. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2016. [cited 2019 June 17]. Available from: https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307093/0.1/Valvular_Heart_Disease.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Valvular Heart Disease ID - 307093 ED - Rosen,Peter, ED - Shayne,Philip, ED - Barkin,Adam Z, ED - Wolfe,Richard E, ED - Hayden,Stephen R, ED - Barkin,Roger M, ED - Schaider,Jeffrey J, BT - 5-Minute Emergency Consult UR - https://emergency.unboundmedicine.com/emergency/view/5-Minute_Emergency_Consult/307093/0.1/Valvular_Heart_Disease PB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ET - 5 DB - Emergency Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -