Avatar universal

Trace Aortic Regurgitation

I am a 55 year old male, non-smoker. Very fit. I lift weights pretty seriously and have done for over 20 years and run 15 kms a week approx. Recently, I saw a cardiologist because of palpitations and the Holter came back normal: 150 PVC and 20 PAC, The palps seem to have come with a cold I got and then went away when I got better.

I also had a stress test, which the cardio said was "excellent" and an echocardiogram. The echo results were all in normal except for trace regurgitation in the Mitral, Tricuspid and Aortic valve. As I understand it, slight leakage is common, except in the aortic valve, which should not leak at all.

My cardio says there is nothing to worry about, it's not uncommon to have trace leakage from any valve, that my heart is in "great shape" (it was a phone conversation) but he advises me to stop lifting heavy weight,

Still, I am concerned. I specifically asked if the aorta, and the aortic root were enlarged and he said no. They are fine.

The questions are: is trace leakage from the aortic valve normal and does weightlifting damage the valves? Would an cold infection cause a trace leak in the valve?

Thanks in advance.

3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
I have pretty much what you have.  My leaky valves, including the floppy aortic, were discovered about ten years ago.  My cardiologist told me that leakage from all the other valves was OK, but not *that* one.  

I do have Reactive Arthritis, an autoimmune disorder which can cause incompetent valves, but my doc thinks age and ordinary wear and tear of the valve edges did mine in.  A simple cold is a most unlikely cause.  The valves are incredibly thin and delicate, and just having your heart beat for 55 years is hard on them.  In addition, some people are bound to have more fragile tissue there than others.  It's the law of averages.

I passed my first (diagnostic) stress test and Echo with flying colors.  I am a lifelong gym rat, older than you, and my cardio told me to keep on doing what I am doing--and to have a stress/echo every two years.  So far, my condition is perfectly stable, though, being an ordinary woman, not a competitor, I do not lift heavy weights.  

I suggest you have a serious discussion with your doc about this, because when you have aortic incompetence--the technical term for our leaks--the idea is to keep blood pressure down to spare the valve as much as possible..  Obviously, heavy lifting can involve Valsalva maneuvers and pressure surges.  So have that conversation.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thank you so much for your detailed response. I am having a hard time getting my head around this. It came as a shock to find out maybe my heart is not in perfect shape. As you say though, maybe the cause is just wear and tear on an aging body.The cardio told me not to lift heavy, to do more aerobic exercise and to come back in a year for another echo.

Thanks again for your response and support.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
If your doc told you not to worry about your trace regurgitation but to come back in a year to repeat the echo, I think that was exactly the right advice.  To me, having had my aortic valve replaced because of severe regurgitation, trace regurgitation is not a big deal, even in the aortic.  As long as it stays trace, you have no worries.  But it is prudent to repeat the echo.  If there is no change in a year, the doctor may not think you need to repeat the echo quite as often from then on.  
Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Heart Disease Community

Top Heart Disease Answerers
159619 tn?1538180937
Salt Lake City, UT
11548417 tn?1506080564
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is a low-fat diet really that heart healthy after all? James D. Nicolantonio, PharmD, urges us to reconsider decades-long dietary guidelines.
Can depression and anxiety cause heart disease? Get the facts in this Missouri Medicine report.
Fish oil, folic acid, vitamin C. Find out if these supplements are heart-healthy or overhyped.
Learn what happens before, during and after a heart attack occurs.
What are the pros and cons of taking fish oil for heart health? Find out in this article from Missouri Medicine.
How to lower your heart attack risk.