How are the noninvasive tests useful?

In severe regurgitation, the electrocardiogram generally shows left ventricular hypertrophy, and the chest radiograph shows cardiomegaly.

Doppler echocardiography can confirm the diagnosis and grade the severity of the regurgitation. Because irreversible left ventricular dysfunction can occur prior to the onset of symptoms, noninvasive tests provide clues to early decompensation, such as a progressive increase in left ventricular end-systolic diameter and decrease in measures of contractility. Thus, serial echocardiography is useful in following patients with severe regurgitation. Some cardiologists find serial radionuclide ventriculography to be useful for the same purpose.

What are the causes of aortic regurgitation?

Causes of Aortic Regurgitation Long-standing hypertension (most common)

Inflammatory disease of the valve and aortic root (rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, tertiary syphilis)

Connective tissue disorders (Marfan’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome)

Congenital disease (congenitally malformed aortic valve, prolapse from long-standing ventricular septal defect)

Aortic insufficiency

Tom cusp (blunt chest trauma, dissecting aortic aneurysm, infective endocarditis)

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