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Mitral Regurgitation

Mitral Regurgitation (MR) is one of the most common types of heart valve disease. It occurs when the valve between the left heart chambers doesn’t completely close. This allows blood to leak backwards (the wrong way) across the valve. In its early stages, many people do not know they have the condition, but over time it can grow in severity, preventing the proper amount of blood from moving through the heart or body.

MR can be caused by:

  • An infection in the heart
  • A heart attack
  • Stiffing of the heart (cardiomyopathy)
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Other heart valve disease
  • Advanced age

As MR progresses it forces the heart to work harder. Some more serious complications include:

  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Heart failure

Signs & Symptoms

Untreated, MR usually progresses slowly. As it progresses the most common symptom is fatigue. Other symptoms can include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • A heart murmur
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Swollen feet or ankles


After a comprehensive physical and heart history is taken, testing may be ordered. This can include:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)
  • Transthoracic echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Exercise or stress test
  • Cardiac MRI

Depending on the cause of the MR, how far it has progressed, and the severity and length of symptoms will determine a treatment course, which can include lifestyle changes, monitoring the disease, medications, or surgery if the valve needs to be repaired or replaced.

Treating Mitral Regurgitation with MitraClip

This new minimally-invasive treatment now at Deborah is for patients’ whose mitral valve is leaking (medically referred to as mitral regurgitation), but are too high of a risk for open heart valve repair or replacement surgery.

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Terms & Conditions

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