What Is The Most Common Cause Of Mitral Regurgitation?

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Mitral Regurgitation?

There are many factors which causes mitral regurgitation:

Mitral Valve Prolapsed (MVP). The mitral valve leaflet bulges back into the atrium. This bulging of leaflet leaks some part of the blood back into atrium instead of the ventricles. This is the common mitral valve defect where the valve does not close tightly resulting in regurgitation. Mitral valve prolapsed is the most common cause in the United States and is responsible for 50% of cases of mitral regurgitation.

Myxomatous Degeneration. The tissue cords which hold the mitral valve to the heart wall are damaged due to excessive stretching or tear. People suffering from MVP are more prone to have damaged tissue chords. Any damage to the chords needs to be repaired by surgery. The condition is common in women and elderly people.

Rheumatic Fever. This is caused because of untreated streptococcus infection. It can damage the mitral valve. People who have suffered mitral valve infection during childhood are more likely to develop mitral valve disease later in life.

Endocarditis. This is the bacterial infection which can damage the inner lining of the heart or the heart valves. People who are undergoing dental procedures should take antibiotics to avoid the risk of endocarditis.

Heart Attack. During a heart attack there is sudden stopping of supply of oxygenated blood to the heart, causing the heart muscles to die. Any reduction or stop of blood supply to heart muscles supporting the mitral valve can cause damage to mitral valve resulting in severe mitral regurgitation. Coronary artery disease is one of the major causes of heart attack

Cardiomyopathy. This disease is characterized by abnormal heart muscles. Heart problem such as high blood pressure causes the heart muscles to get enlarged. The elongated muscle area affects the functioning of the mitral valve causing the improper closing of the valve. There will be an impaired backward flow of blood resulting in mitral regurgitation.

Trauma. People who experience e sudden trauma in the form of an accident or other emergency situations can lead to mitral regurgitation.

Medicines. People who take medicines for migraines and similar headaches (e.g. ergotamine) and Cabergoline (suppresses hormone prolactin) can cause mitral regurgitation.

Atrial Fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation can be a potential cause of mitral regurgitation.

Calcium. Deposition of calcium on the valves causes stiffening of valve resulting in mitral regurgitation.

Previous History. Patients with a history of mitral valve prolapse or mitral valve stenosis may develop mitral regurgitation.

Family History. The family history of heart valve diseases also puts you at risk of developing mitral regurgitation.

Other causes which can contribute to mitral regurgitation are:

People often experience mitral valve regurgitation because of natural damage to the valve due to age.

Types Of Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral valve is present in the left side chambers of the heart. It is the valve which is present between the left atrium and the left ventricle. There can be impairment in the functioning of the valve due to structural damage, thickening of valves, etc. One such mitral valve disease is mitral regurgitation. There are two different types of mitral regurgitation.

Primary Mitral Regurgitation. It is caused because of the defective mitral valve

Secondary Mitral Regurgitation. It is caused because of diseases of the heart ventricles. It is also referred to as functional mitral regurgitation.

The word regurgitation refers to backward flow. Mitral regurgitation causes the mitral valve to close incompletely causing leaking of the blood in the atrium. The heart will not be pumping the usual amount of blood, so there will be impaired supply of oxygenated blood to different parts of the body. It is the most common type of heart valve disorder.


Mitral valve prolapse seems to the most common cause of mitral regurgitation. In women and elderly population, myxomatous degeneration is the common cause of mitral regurgitation.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 13, 2019

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