Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Mitral valve regurgitation is caused when the blood flows back in left auricle due to mitral valve insufficiency. It may lead to serious complication in some patients.

Is Mitral Valve Regurgitation Serious?

Although the mitral valve prolapse and mitral valve regurgitation either presents mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. The people with mitral valve regurgitation have a normal routine function and may live a healthy life without any treatment. However, in some cases, the mitral valve regurgitation leads to serious complications and may prove fatal. Following are the complications associated with the mitral valve regurgitation.

Heart Failure. The heart failure may occur in the condition of mitral valve regurgitation due to the mitral valve insufficiency, the blood leaks from the ventricle and move to the auricle. There is reduced blood flow in the body, which causes increased stress on heart for generating more power. Chronic stress on the heart due to mitral valve regurgitation may cause cardiomyopathy and may result in heart failure.

Infective Endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is a serious complication involving the lining of the heart and heart valve. Endocarditis is a serious disease and the people with mitral valve regurgitation are significantly at greater risk of developing this condition. Endocarditis causes serious damage to the heart and related muscles. Mitral valve gets damaged due to inflammation and infection which further complicate the condition. The heart with infected endocarditis has altered and turbulent flow.

Pulmonary Hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension is the condition characterized by high pressure in the pulmonary arteries. Mitral valve regurgitation increases the pressure in the pulmonary artery. During the initial phase of mitral valve regurgitation, the left auricle and left ventricle dilated as a compensatory mechanism. Later on, there is a left ventricle dysfunction reducing left auricle compliance and increased pressure. This pressure is spread into the pulmonary artery leading to pulmonary hypertension.

Atrial Fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is also caused due to mitral valve regurgitation. As the blood leak back into the auricle, there is an abnormal rhythm present in the heart leading to atrial fibrillation.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Mitral valve is present in the heart. The function of the mitral valve is to assist the unidirectional flow within the heart. Mitral valve is present in the opening between the left auricle and left ventricle. Mitral valve is composed of two leaflets and they are attached to the heart through connective tissues. The mitral valve opens during diastole, thereby assisting the flow of blood from the left auricle to the left ventricle. The mitral valve closes during the systolic process and prevents the backflow of the blood from the ventricle to the auricle.

Sometimes, the problem occurs in the valve due to which the opening between the auricle and ventricle are not closed properly. This leads to the backflow and leakage of the blood from ventricle to the auricle. This condition is known as mitral valve regurgitation. During regurgitation, a slight murmuring sound occurs in the heart.

The symptoms associated with the mitral valve regurgitation are fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness. Further, the blood pressure also increases as the heart is under stress to create extra pressure.

The problem due to which mitral valve regurgitation occurs is known as mitral valve prolapse. In this condition, the mitral valve fails to close the opening and bulges inside the left auricle. Various conditions are responsible for the mitral valve prolapse including age, infection, trauma, radiation, and medications.

Acute mitral valve regurgitation causes more severe symptoms as compared to the chronic condition. During acute mitral valve regurgitation, sudden abnormality occurs in the valve and the blood immediately filled in the left part of the heart. This may cause life-threatening symptoms such as rapid heart rate, chest pain, severe shortness of breath and dizziness.

Conclusion

Mitral valve regurgitation, in a majority of cases, is not a serious condition. In other cases, it may lead to severe complications. The complications associated are heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, and atrial fibrillation.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 2, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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