Mitral Regurgitation

About Mitral Regurgitation

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WHAT IS MITRAL VALVE REGURGITATION?

The mitral valve is located at the posterior of the heart. It has two leaflets arranged in the form of bishop’s mitre or cap (hence the name). The mitral valve controls the flow of blood between two chambers of the heart, the left atrium, and the left ventricle. Normally, blood flows only in one direction, from the atrium to the ventricle. Mitral...

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WHAT IS MITRAL VALVE REGURGITATION?

The mitral valve is located at the posterior of the heart. It has two leaflets arranged in the form of bishop’s mitre or cap (hence the name). The mitral valve controls the flow of blood between two chambers of the heart, the left atrium, and the left ventricle. Normally, blood flows only in one direction, from the atrium to the ventricle. Mitral regurgitation (also known as mitral valve regurgitation, mitral incompetence, mitral insufficiency) occurs when blood leaks backward through the mitral valve into the left atrium each time the left ventricle contracts. When this occurs, the blood volume increases and causes pressure in the left atrium. The result is a damming of blood in the lungs, causing shortness of breath and other debilitating symptoms. Initially, the body and the heart cope with this backward flow of blood. However, to maintain the forward flow of blood, the ventricle has to pump harder. Over a period of time, this causes enlargement of the left atrium and eventually the left ventricle, setting in motion the progressive downward spiral toward serious and potentially life-threatening complications such as congestive heart failure.