What is the clinical presentation of chronic aortic regurgitation (AR)?

Updated: Nov 19, 2018
  • Author: Stanley S Wang, JD, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Patients with chronic AR often have a long-standing asymptomatic period that may last for several years. A compensatory tachycardia may develop to maintain a large forward stroke volume, leading to a decreased diastolic filling period. As a result, patients may be asymptomatic even with exercise. Over time, however, chronic volume overload leads to LV dysfunction as the LV dilates. Significant deterioration of LV function may begin prior to the development of symptoms in up to 25% of patients, highlighting the importance of periodic echocardiographic surveillance.

Among patients with asymptomatic LV dysfunction, more than 25% of them develop symptoms within 1 year. Once symptoms arise, cardiac function usually worsens more rapidly and mortality may exceed 10% per year.


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