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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long can a person live with infected aorta valve?

how long can you live with a leaky and infected aorta valve? how long can you live with a leaky and infected aorta valve?
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
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While that last answer is certainly correct, it may not be the easiest thing in the world to understand if you're not a medical professional, so let me summarize what the problems you're facing are. What it sounds like you're describing is an aortic valve vegetation with destruction of the valve leaflets. The heart valves are thin, flexible flaps of tissue that allow flow of blood in only one direction. When a leaflet gets infected, it can lead to local destruction of the valve itself leading to backflow of blood past the valve. Another big risk factor if you have an infectious vegetation on the aortic valve is for part of that infected vegetation to break off and go elsewhere in your bloodstream. That can lead to strokes (blockage of blood flow to a portion of the brain), loss of blood flow to the intestine or other end organ, or loss of blood flow to the extremities. All of these are medical or surgical emergencies. The backflow of blood can result in congestive heart failure due to fluid overload on the left ventricle with irreversible damage to the muscle. If the regurgitation is significant (in most cases of infectious endocarditis, it is) you will need a valve replacement surgery before congestive heart failure sets in. If you are already in congestive heart failure with irreversible heart damage, you will need a heart transplant. This is a decision that will need to be made by a cardiothoracic surgeon. Most inoperable patients will not live more than 6 months to a year. Symptoms can be controlled with diuretics and vasodilators to reduce cardiac work.
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