Heart Information Center
Ask a Heart Doctor
  Back to previous page


Help us improve this service.

Your feedback will help guide us in developing this site.

Ask a Texas Heart Institute Doctor 
Informed patients make better patients.


What are the implications of blood entering the heart quickly but leaving it slowly? 

My aunt has been told that blood is entering her heart quickly, but leaving the heart slowly. What are the implications of this?

submitted by Amannda from England on 2/12/2013


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Scott R. Sherron, MD  Scott R. Sherron, MD

This is an atypical description, but I believe that her doctors are describing one of two conditions. 

1. If she has a reduced strength of contraction of the heart muscle, the pumping action can be weak and allow pressure to back up into the lungs and the tissues which is congestive heart failure. This is also often described as an enlarged heart. This has several potential causes and an evaluation as to the underlying cause would be indicated.

2. Alternatively, they could be describing a blocked "exit valve" from the heart, probably the aortic valve. This can also lead to a back up of pressure, but usually not to a weakened heart. When aortic stenosis (narrowing)becomes severe, and symptomatic, the treatment is usually valve replacement. The primary symptoms of aortic stenosis are chest pain, shortness of breath and light-headed or passing out spells. 

I hope this is helpful. If you have further description of her abnormality, please send a follow-up question. Thanks. 

See also on this site:  

Has your question or a similar one already been answered?
Search all the Heart Doctor questions and answers.

To search for a doctor or access St. Luke's physician referral service, use the "Find a Doctor" link at the top of this page.

Updated February 2013
Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1996-2014 Texas Heart Institute.
All rights reserved.
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. U.S. NEWS America's Best Hospitals 2013-14