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Mitral valve diseases mitral valve prolapse causes of mitral valve prolapse symptoms of mitral valve prolapse diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse treatment for mitral valve prolapse mitral valve regurgitation causes of mitral valve regurgitation symptoms of mitral regurgitation complications of mitral regurgitation diagnosis of mitral regurgitation treatment for mitral regurgitation mitral valve stenosis causes of mitral stenosis symptoms of mitral stenosis diagnosis of mitral valve stenosis treatment for mitral stenosis mitral valve repair and replacement heart valve disorders {aortic valve disease aortic insufficiency aortic aneurysm aortic regurgitation aortic stenosis aortic valve replacement surgery pulmonic valve stenosis tricuspid regurgitation tricuspid stenosis heart valve replacement and repair}

What is mitral valve regurgitation?

Mitral valve regurgitation is also called "MR". MR happens when some of the blood in your heart leaks from the left ventricle into the left atrium. This causes health problems because the blood flows backward through the mitral valve instead of forward.

The heart has 4 chambers (rooms). The two upper chambers are called atria and the two lower chambers are called ventricles (VEN-trik-ulls). When the heart "beats", the atria push blood into the ventricles. The ventricles then push blood out of the heart. The right ventricle pushes blood into the pulmonary artery, then into the lungs to get oxygen. The left ventricle pushes blood with oxygen into the aorta and out to the body.

There are valves (doors) between the chambers that open and close to direct blood flow through the heart. The mitral valve is made up of two leaflets that come from the front and back of the valve and meet in the middle. As your heart beats, the mitral valve opens to let blood go from the left atrium to the left ventricle. The mitral valve closes when your heart rests between beats. The closed mitral valve should prevent backflow of blood from the ventricle to the atrium.

The mitral valve functions as a one-way valve, allowing oxygen-rich blood that has returned from the lungs to flow from the left atrium into the left ventricle. This occurs while the left ventricle is in its relaxed, uncontracted phase of the heart cycle. When the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve closes, preventing blood from being pumped back into the left atrium. This ensures that all blood is pumped across the aortic valve into the aorta. If the mitral valve is not functioning properly, due to injury or disease, blood leaks back into the left atrium (regurgitates) when the left ventricle contracts and, simply put, backs up into the lungs.

Because some of the blood being pumped by the left ventricle flows back (regurgitates) into the left atrium, less blood is pumped into the aorta and, ultimately, throughout the body. The heart compensates for this by increasing the size of the left ventricle to increase the amount of blood it is pumping and to maintain an adequate forward flow of blood throughout the body. Unfortunately, compensation eventually leads to impairment of the left ventricle's ability to contract (decompensate), which leads to further back-up of blood into the lungs.

More information on mitral valve diseases (mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation, mitral stenosis)

What is mitral valve disease? - There are many diseases which affect the mitral valve and its supporting structures. The most common disorder of the mitral valve is the partial backflow.
What is mitral valve prolapse? - Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a heart valve condition marked by the displacement of a thickened mitral valve leaflet into the left atrium during systole.
What causes mitral valve prolapse? - The cause of mitral valve prolapse is unknown. It is more common in people with low body weight and low blood pressure.
What're the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse? - Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse include fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, anxiety, migraine headaches, and even stroke.
How is mitral valve prolapse diagnosed? - Mitral valve prolapse is diagnosed in the course of a physical examination. Echocardiography is useful in diagnosing a prolapsed mitral valve.
What're the treatments for mitral valve prolapse? - Most people with mitral valve prolapse (MVP) do not have symptoms or need treatment. Mitral valve prolapse can be treated with surgical replacement of the mitral valve.
What is mitral valve regurgitation? - Mitral valve regurgitation happens when some of the blood in your heart leaks from the left ventricle into the left atrium.
What causes mitral valve regurgitation? - The causes of primary mitral regurgitation include myxomatous degeneration of the mitral valve, ischemic heart disease, coronary artery disease.
What're the symptoms of mitral regurgitation? - The symptoms associated with mitral regurgitation are dependent on which phase of the disease process the individual is in.
What're the complications of mitral regurgitation? - Complications of mitral regurgitation include congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, blood clot, endocarditis.
How is mitral regurgitation diagnosed? - The diagnosis of mitral regurgitation usually employs imaging studies such as echocardiography or magnetic resonance angiography of the heart.
What're the treatments for mitral regurgitation? - The treatment of mitral regurgitation depends on the acuteness of the disease and whether there are associated signs of hemodynamic compromise.
What is mitral valve stenosis? - Mitral valve stenosis is a narrowing of the opening of the mitral valve in the heart. Stenosis of the mitral valve prevents the valve from opening normally.
What causes mitral stenosis? - Mitral stenosis is often caused by having had rheumatic fever. Rheumatic fever can cause an infection in the mitral valve.
What are the symptoms of mitral stenosis? - Symptoms of mitral stenosis include shortness of breath, fainting, dizziness or tiredness, chest pains (angina), chest infections.
How is mitral valve stenosis diagnosed? - Mitral valve stenosis is usually detected by a physician listening to heart sounds. The diagnosis of mitral stenosis is most easily made by echocardiography.
What're the treatments for mitral stenosis? - The treatment options for mitral stenosis include medical management, surgical replacement of the valve, and percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty.
Mitral valve repair and replacement - Mitral valve replacement surgery is open-heart surgery that is done while the patient is under general anesthesia.
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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005,, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005