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Image of the heart during transesophagea

heart valve defect

There are four heart valves working in our heart. In the right heart, blood enters the right ventricle through the tricuspid valve. From there it enters the lungs via the pulmonary valve. From the lungs, it passes through the mitral valve on its way to the left ventricle, from where it is pumped through the assembly valve into the systemic circulation. There are basically two possibilities for every valve defect: insufficiency (insufficient closure) and stenosis (narrowing of the valve). Sometimes one valve has both defects, or one heart valve is incompetent and another has a stenosis.

Valve defects often result in signs of cardiac insufficiency such as shortness of breath, shortness of breath or cardiac arrhythmia. Diagnosis is relatively simple. The sounds that indicate the valve defect can usually be recognized even when listening. Errors can also be diagnosed very well in ultrasound. In the picture you can see a mitral regurgitation in color Doppler. The blood shown in blue is moving toward the transducer. The left ventricle is shown above the blue field. The blue area is in the left atrium. When the mitral valve closes properly, blood does not flow from the left ventricle into the left atrium during the pumping action. Here the blue incoming beam clearly shows that the flap is leaking. Errors in the other flaps can be identified using the same system. In the case of a stenosis (narrowing), the colored stream of blood goes in the right direction, but it is greatly accelerated because the blood has to pass through a bottleneck, similar to water in a gorge.

The conservative, ie non-surgical treatment methods are modest. It is important to normalize blood pressure. The valves cannot be healed with naturopathic methods any more than a leaky faucet. If the valves are narrowed, they can be widened again with a balloon catheter. Otherwise, the implantation of a new valve is necessary. You can choose between artificial valves and bio valves made from pig valves. The artificial flaps have the advantage of a longer service life. But there is a high risk of clot formation, which can lead to stroke. Therefore, a strong blood thinner such as Marcumar must be taken, which significantly increases the risk of bleeding, for example in the event of an accident. Therefore, biovalves that do not require blood thinning are preferred in older people.

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