What is a Heart Valve Leak?
Writer: Prof. Dr. Yavuz Besogul
Before explaining what a heart valve leak is, let's talk about heart valves. There are four valves in the heart: mitral valve, aortic valve, tricuspid valve and pulmonary valve. The function of these valves is to ensure that blood flows in the right direction. For example, blood that is cleaned in the lungs and comes to the left atrium passes through the mitral valve and comes to the left ventricle. At this point, leakage in the mitral valve means that blood leaks back to the left atrium. In this case, the heart has to work harder to send this blood back to the left ventricle.
Heart valve leakage usually occurs as a result of heart valve failure. The reason for the failure is the rupture or reversal of the fibers holding the heart valves or the congenital heart valve having two leaflets. As a result, incomplete closure and backward leakage occurs. Especially the valves on the left side of the heart are affected by this. The first is the mitral valve, which may also leak as the heart enlarges. On the other hand, it may leak backward due to enlargement of the aortic valve or because it is congenitally bi-leafleted.