Mitral valve regurgitation is a condition that symbolizes an improper closing of the mitral valve. This influences the flow of blood in the left chamber. It causes backflow of the blood from left ventricle to left atrium during each contraction of the heart. It is caused by injury, damages, prolapse, and infection of the mitral valve. A heart attack is one of main cause that can damage the mitral valve and the tissues around the valve. It can be hereditary in certain cases where congenital birth defects may damage the mitral valve. In such cases, babies are born with congenital defects of the mitral valve.
Is Mitral Valve Regurgitation Hereditary?
Mitral valve regurgitation is the condition of the heart marked by improper closing of the mitral valve. In this condition, the flow of the blood goes back to the left atrium through the mitral valve. It is characterized by the leakage of blood into the left atrium with every pumping action of the heart. This elevates the volume of the blood in the left atrium. This creates pressure in the left atrium leading to further damage to the valve. This results in the flow of blood in two directions, one from the left atrium to left ventricle and left ventricle to the left atrium. The volume of blood drops in the left ventricle that causes less flow of blood into the left aorta. Thus, less amount of oxygenated blood travels to the rest of the body.
Mitral valve regurgitation is not hereditary in every case. Only a few cases of mitral valve regurgitation have genetic reasons. Congenital birth defects of the mitral valve can cause mitral valve regurgitation. In these cases, babies are born with damaged mitral valves.
Other causes of mitral valve regurgitation are:
Damaged Tissue Cords- the main function of tissue cords is to anchor the flaps of the mitral valve to the wall of the heart. These cords get damaged or torn over the time especially in cases of mitral valve prolapse. These cords need repair through heart surgery.
Mitral Valve Prolapse- in mitral valve prolapse, the leaflets of mitral valve bulge into the left atrium in the backward direction in each heart contractions. This may cause improper closing of the mitral valve leading to the backward flow of the blood from left ventricle i.e. mitral valve regurgitation.
Rheumatic Fever- a complication developed from untreated strep throat can cause rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can damage mitral valve and can cause mitral valve regurgitation.
Heart Attack-heart attack imposes damage to the heart muscles supporting the mitral valve. This influences the function of the heart and may cause mitral valve regurgitation.
Endocarditis– infections of the lining of heart and heart valves damage the valves that may cause mitral valve regurgitation.
Trauma- a direct injury to the heart during a car accident or other traumas can cause damage to the mitral valves.
Abnormality Of Heart Muscle- some conditions like high blood pressure render excess stress on the heart that may lead to the enlargement of the heart stretching its tissue.
Certain Drugs- long use of certain medicines of a migraine that contain ergotamine (Cafergot, Migergot) can cause backflow of the blood in left atrium leading to mitral valve regurgitation.
Radiation Therapy- when the main focus of radiation therapy performed for the treatment of cancer is on the chest area, it may lead to mitral valve regurgitation.
Atrial Fibrillation- atrial fibrillation is characterized by abnormal heart rhythm that may cause mitral valve regurgitation.
Mitral valve regurgitation is characterized by the two-sided flow of blood in the left chamber of the heart. it occurs mostly after the damaged of the mitral valve caused by heart attack, trauma or others discussed above. It can be caused by congenital defects of the mitral valve. But its causes are not always hereditary.