Mitral regurgitation (MR), also known as mitral insufficiency or mitral valve regurgitation, is a heart valve disorder in which the mitral valve doesn’t close properly, allowing blood to flow backward from the left ventricle into the left atrium of the heart and eventually the Lungs. This can be caused by a sudden event, such as a heart attack or a tear in the mitral valve, and it is a medical emergency requiring immediate treatment. However usually this develops gradually and is often caused by long-term damage to the mitral valve, such as from degenerative valve disease, rheumatic fever, or other underlying heart conditions.
Common symptoms of mitral regurgitation may include:
– Shortness of breath
Complications associated with mitral regurgitation can include heart failure, an enlarged left atrium and left ventricle, and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rhythms).
Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, listening to the heart with a stethoscope (which may reveal a “heart murmur”), and various imaging tests, such as echocardiography, to assess the severity and underlying causes of the regurgitation.
Treatment options for mitral regurgitation depend on the severity of the condition and the presence of symptoms:
The choice of treatment depends on the patient’s overall health, the cause and severity of the regurgitation, and other individual factors.
Regular follow-up is essential for individuals with mitral regurgitation to monitor the condition and determine the most suitable treatment plan. Early diagnosis and appropriate management can help prevent complications and improve quality of life.