Heart Beat: Can ACE inhibitors trump heart-valve calcium buildup?
Can ACE inhibitors trump heart-valve calcium buildup?
How is an aging aortic valve like an old water pipe? Both get gummed up by mineral deposits. In the case of the aortic valve, the main culprit is calcium.
Bone-like nodules of calcium can choke off the opening available for blood flow that occurs when the valve springs apart with each contraction of the powerful left ventricle. These nodules can also keep the valve from closing completely when it is supposed to snap shut to prevent the backward flow of blood into the heart.
Experts once thought the accumulation of calcium was the near-inevitable result of wear and tear. Research, though, suggests that it may be possible to slow, halt, or even reverse the gradual accumulation of calcium in the valve.