aortic insufficiency n.
Valvular insufficiency involving the aortic valve.
failure of the valve at the mouth of the aorta-the principal artery that distributes blood from the heart to the tissues of the body-to prevent backflow of blood from the aorta into the left lower chamber (ventricle) of the heart, from which it has been pumped. The defect causes characteristic heart sounds, audible through a stethoscope. Affected persons may experience difficulty in breathing after mild physical exertion and may suffer spasms of difficult breathing while resting in bed. Congestive heart failure-the effects of the heart's inability to function adequately as a pump-may develop. Aortic insufficiency may result from a congenitally defective valve, from rheumatic heart disease, or from syphilis. Medical treatment is directed toward management of the congestive heart failure; prevention of the recurrence of rheumatic heart disease; and prevention of bacterial endocarditis, bacterial invasion of the heart lining. Surgical treatment consists in replacing the diseased valve with a synthetic substitute or a transplant
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