There are several causes of aortic valve regurgitation, which include the following:
- Congenital defect – The aortic valve is comprised of three flaps called cusps. Some people may be born with fewer than three flaps, called the bicuspid aortic valve. This defect may be inherited or occur without any family history.
- Calcium deposits – Calcium is a naturally occurring mineral in the blood. As blood flows through the aortic valve, bits of calcium can be left behind and build up as we age. This causes the valve to lose elasticity. This calcium isn’t related to anything we eat or drink. The condition can occur in younger people but is more common in people over 70.
- Endocarditis – This infection can occur in your heart and damage your valves.
- Rheumatic fever – Rheumatic fever is an infection associated with strep throat that may result in the development of scar tissue on the aortic valve. This scar tissue may keep your valve from closing fully.