There are four valves located in the heart. Each valve either consists of two or three folds of thin tissue. When closed, the valve prevents blood from flowing backwards to its previous location. When open the valve allows blood to flow freely. Valve problems can occur because of congenital abnormalities, infection, or other causes.
Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD, Specializing in General Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Midland, TX. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.