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:
As MR progresses it forces the heart to work harder. Some more serious complications include:
Untreated, MR usually progresses slowly. As it progresses the most common symptom is fatigue. Other symptoms can include:
After a comprehensive physical and heart history is taken, testing may be ordered. This can include:
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.
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