Structural heart disease refers to abnormalities of the heart valves or chambers of the heart. These can be ‘congenital,’ which are present from birth, or ‘acquired’ that develop with age and the gradual wear and tear on the heart. Other disease processes such as an infection and clotting disorders can also cause structural heart disease.
Common valvular heart disorders include stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leaking) of the four heart valves. Each of the these heart valves–the aortic, mitral, tricuspid, and pulmonic valves–can be affected as well as any of the four chambers of the heart or the tissues which separate the heart chambers.