I have been short of breath walking from one room to another.  My echocardiogram showed worsening of my aortic regurgitation, going from mild to moderate-severe over the last year.  LVEF is 60 – 65%.  Mild LVH.  AV is sclerotic.  I am worried.  What are your recommendations?

1. Left ventricular ejection fraction, by visual estimation, is 60 to 65 %
2. Mild concentric left ventricular hypertrophy
3. Decreased left ventricular internal cavity size
4. Mildly dilated left atrium
5. Aortic valve is sclerotic
6. Moderate to severe aortic regurgitation
7. Mild calcified mitral apparatus
8. Mild mitral valve regurgitation
9. Trace tricuspid regurgitation
10. Trace pulmonic valve regurgitation

Submitted by Nola from Show Low, Arizona 

The heart can tolerate moderate or severe aortic regurgitation without any symptoms of heart failure when the amount of leakage develops slowly and the heart is able to adapt by enlarging. In cases of chronic AR there is no need for surgical correction if the LV ejection fraction remains > 50% and the heart does not become too dilated and the patient had no symptoms such as shortness of breath, exercise intolerance or fluid retention. You have reported a relatively recent worsening of aortic regurgitation AND new symptoms, so this should be investigated to see if treatment is needed & to determine why the degree of regurgitation worsened so quickly.