OHSU

Treatment Options

The Heart's Valves

The heart has four valves: the aortic, mitral, pulmonary and tricuspid valves. Their function is to help keep blood flowing through the heart to the rest of your body. If a heart valve is diseased or damaged, blood might not leave your heart at the normal rate, or might flow backwards into your heart.

Heart valve function diagram
Image Source: American Heart Association (2013)

The main types of heart valve disease are stenosis (narrowing of a heart valve) and regurgitation (leaking valve.) Symptoms include being short of breath or getting tired more quickly when you exercise or do daily activities. You might notice more symptoms when you are in bed at night or lie down at other times.

Common causes of heart valve disease include:

  • Congenital heart defects
  • Deposits on the valves (in men older than 65, women older than 75)
  • Scar tissue due to a heart attack
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Infections
  • High blood pressure

The specialists at OHSU's Complex Heart Valve Clinic evaluate and treat patients with advanced heart valve problems. Many treatment options are available to repair or replace the valve, including:

Contact us to make an appointment at the Knight Cardiovascular Institute or get directions. You can also find out more about OHSU’s team of heart experts.

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503 494-1775

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Read frequently asked questions about heart treatments at OHSU or ask your own question.

Frequently Asked Questions

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