Your aortic valve is one of your four heart valves. It connects the left side of your heart with your aorta. Your aorta is the large artery that carries oxygen-rich blood to your body. Your aortic valve controls blood flow into your aorta and keeps blood moving in one direction.
Your aortic valve is one of your four heart valves. It connects your:
Your aortic valve is one of two semilunar valves. Semilunar valves connect your heart ventricles (lower chambers) and arteries. Semilunar valves get their name from the crescent moon shape of the flaps that make up the valve.
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Your heart divides into four chambers:
Between each chamber, valves open and close to help blood flow in the right direction. Each valve has small flaps called leaflets that open and close each time your heart beats.
Your aortic valve opens to let blood flow from your left ventricle to your aorta. It closes to prevent blood from flowing in the wrong direction. The closed valve keeps blood from leaking from your aorta back into your heart.
Your aortic valve plays a crucial role in helping blood flow through your heart. Blood flows through your heart in a series of steps:
The aortic valve is between your left ventricle and aorta. Looking at your heart straight on, your aortic valve is near the middle of your heart.
Your pulmonary valve is to the right and in front of your aortic valve. Your pulmonary artery passes through the arch of the aorta to carry blood to your right and left lungs.
Your aortic valve has three sections made of collagen. These sections are called leaflets, or cusps.
In a healthy heart, the leaflets open wide to allow blood to flow through. Then, they come tightly together to prevent backflow.
Some people are born with only two aortic valve leaflets. An aortic valve with only two leaflets is called a bicuspid aortic valve.
A few heart conditions can affect your aortic valve. Some people are born with a heart condition (congenital). Others develop a condition because of an infection or heart damage such as a heart attack.
Some conditions that affect your aortic valve include:
A transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a less invasive option to replace your aortic valve without open surgery. TAVR may be a treatment option if you have aortic valve stenosis. TAVR is also known as transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
During a TAVR procedure, your healthcare provider:
You can keep your heart valves and entire heart healthier by making some lifestyle changes. You can:
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your aortic valve is one of your four main heart valves. It opens when blood flows from your left ventricle to your aorta. Your heart valves ensure blood flows through your heart in one direction. Some heart conditions can affect your aortic valve. If symptoms are severe, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery to repair or replace your aortic valve.
You can make lifestyle changes to improve your heart health. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions about your heart health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/23/2022.
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