The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle and the aorta. As the left ventricle contracts, it pumps blood out of the left ventricle through the aortic valve and into the aorta. The aortic valve consists of three leaflets, or flaps, that open to allow blood to flow from the ventricle to the aorta and close to prevent blood flow in the opposite direction.
Aortic Valve Stenosis
Aortic valve stenosis is a heart condition that occurs when there is an inadequate opening of the aortic valve that limits blood flow to the body. Degeneration and calcification of the valve with age can cause stenosis, but there are several other causes of aortic valve stenosis, including rheumatic fever, a congenital bicuspid aortic valve and radiation therapy.
Aortic Valve Regurgitation
Aortic valve regurgitation occurs when the aortic valve leaflets do not close properly and blood returns back to the heart. This kind of heart problem may be caused by an enlargement of the aortic root in aneurysms, by endocarditis or infection, rheumatic fever or injury.