Aortic regurgitation is defined by incompetence of the aortic valve, in which a portion of the left ventricular forward stroke volume returns to the chamber during diastole. The cause of the regurgitation, as for aortic stenosis, can be further defined based on the anatomy of the valve and aortic root and the disease process affecting the valve. Aortic regurgitation can occur because of leaflet pathology or aortic root disease.
Patients with chronic aortic regurgitation caused by congenital bicuspid valve, hypertension, or annuloaortic ectasia often have little clinical historyother than a known cardiac murmur noted on routine auscultation. In theory, patients with aortic regurgitation should benefit from long-term administration of a direct-acting vasodilator in order to augment forward cardiac output.
Statistics: In Italy the prevalence in the of any valve disease is 4.5%. The prevalence of moderate or severe aortic stenosis in patients more than 65-75 years old is 2.8%. It is the most common valvular heart disease of the elderly and increases with age. The prevalence is approximately 2.3% at age 75 years and 6.3% at 85-95 years.