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Valvular heart disease refers to damage or defects involving one or more heart valves, and can be either stenosis, or narrowing of the valvular opening; or regurgitation, also called insufficiency or incompetence, or failure of the valve to adequately close.
Alright so, valvular heart disease is caused by damage or defects involving one or more heart valves. One cause of valvular heart disease is rheumatic fever, which is an inflammatory condition that typically occurs after a strep throat infection from Streptococcus pyogenes, also referred to as group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. Other important causes include congenital defects, infective endocarditis, atherosclerosis, myocardial infarction, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus; or connective tissue disorders, like Marfan syndrome.
Now, the heart valves control blood flow through the heart. The two atrioventricular, or AV, valves include the tricuspid valve that separates the right atrium from the right ventricle and the mitral valve, which separates the left atrium from the left ventricle. The two semilunar valves are the pulmonary valve that separates the right ventricle from the pulmonary artery and the aortic valve that separates the left ventricle from the aorta. The type of valvular heart disease depends on the affected valve and the type of defect.
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