Aorta | Aortic Valve | Aortic Root | Ascending Aorta | Aortic Arch | Descending Aorta | Abdominal Aorta
The aortic valve is separates the left ventricle (the main pumping chamber of the heart) and the aorta, the main and largest artery in the body. The aortic valve normally consists of three leaflets. When the heart contracts, the the opens and heart pushes blood through the valve to the aorta and then to the rest of the body. When the heart relaxes, the aortic valve closes and prevents the blood from leaking (or regurgitating) back into the ventricle.
The valvular apparatus begins at the aortic annulus and extends to the sinotubular junction. Between each commissure of the aortic valve and opposite the cusps of the aortic valve, there are three small dilatations called the aortic sinuses. The sinotubular junction is the point in the ascending aorta where the aortic sinuses end and the aorta becomes a tubular structure.
The valve may become leaky (aka regurgutant) as a result of enlargement (or dilatation) of the aortic annulus. This may also result from structural defects in the valve leaflets. Conversely, the valve may become narrowed (or stenotic) resulting in the restriction blood flow. Some patients develop symptoms as a result of the abnormalities; these patients in general require surgery to repair or replace the valve.
How Can We Help You?
Ask Our Experts
Submit your non-urgent questions regarding your aortic, heart, and vascular conditions via email to our expert team of doctors.