Aortic valve insufficiency, also called aortic valve regurgitation, occurs when the aortic valve is damaged or weakened, thus enabling blood to leak back into the left ventricle of the heart from the aorta. Though the left ventricle will temporarily become stronger due to the extra effort needed to pump the blood back into the aorta, the exertion will eventually weaken the ventricle, which can compromise the heart and lead to further complications.
The heart has four chambers that circulate blood through the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients. The right chambers -- the right atrium and right ventricle -- take deoxygenated blood in and pump it to the lungs. The blood returns from the lungs full of oxygen, passing to the left atrium and left ventricle, where it is pumped back out to the rest of the body. Valves exist between each chamber of the heart to keep the blood flowing in the correct direction, thereby making the heart’s pumping more powerful and efficient.
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