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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. 

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Updated February 2013
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