What is Mitral Regurgitation?
Mitral regurgitation occurs when the heart's mitral valve fails to close tightly, permitting blood to flow backward. Blood flows normally from the left atrium (the top left chamber) through the mitral valve to the left ventricle (bottom left chamber) and out to the rest of the body. The function of the mitral valve is to prevent blood from flowing backward from the left ventricle to the left atrium.
What are the symptoms of Mitral Regurgitation?
Many people with mitral regurgitation do not feel anything. However, if the mitral regurgitation becomes severe, individuals often feel shortness of breath, fatigue, lightheadedness, cough, palpitations, and swollen feet or ankles.
What causes Mitral Regurgitation?
Mitral regurgitation often occurs because of a structural problem with the valve. Other risk factors include mitral valve prolapse, past heart attack, infections such as endocarditis or rheumatic fever, congenital Heart Disease, use of certain medications, and age.
What is the treatment for Mitral Regurgitation?
The primary treatment for mitral regurgitation is surgery on the valve. Medications can be given which can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with mitral regurgitation.