Heart Valve Diseases in the Elderly: Current Treatments and Future Directions

Heart Valve Diseases in the Elderly: Current Treatments and Future Directions

Yos Morsi (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), Zhang Li (Sichuan University, China) and Sheng Wang (Tongji University, China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2506-8.ch011


This chapter gives an overview of heart valve diseases, their diagnostics techniques, and current and future treatments with particular emphasis on the elder generation. It starts with a brief presentation of anatomy of the heart and its valves and the effect of aging on the function of the heart. Subsequently the projection of the global older population is given, and the most common and frequently occurring valvular heart diseases including aortic regurgitation, aortic stenosis, and aortic sclerosis are presented and discussed. Moreover, the current heart valve replacement techniques using mechanical or bio-prosthetic valves and the complications associated with the use of these artificial heart valves are presented and discussed. The chapter ends with a full account of the risk of mortality associated with the operation of heart valve replacement for older patients and the future directions for heart valve implementation using the tissue engineering concept.
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Anatomies Of The Heart And Valves

The Heart

A schematic illustration of the heart is shown in Figure 1. Human heart is formulated from durable muscle tissues and it contracts and inflates about 100,000 times per day and pumps approximately 5.5 liter/minute in a healthy person. The volume of the heart is about the same size as person’s fist and weighs about 325 grams for male and 275 grams for females. The human heart has four chambers: two atria, and two ventricles and these four chambers are regulated by four one direction valves. The heart contracts vigorously and expulsed blood from its ventricles and uninterruptedly the blood leaves the heart and progresses to the other parts of the body. Moreover, the blood flows into the ventricles from the atria which maintains the blood pumping in the forward direction into the arteries to the others organs within the body.

Figure 1.

Schematic illustration and cross-section of a human heart with blood flow directions


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