Mitral Valve Regurgitation (Mitral Insufficiency)

Mitral valve regurgitation, also known as mitral insufficiency, is a valve condition in which the structure of the mitral valve is altered in a way that blood is allowed to flow back into the left atrium from the left ventricle when the valve is supposedly closed. This causes a pressure or volume overload in the left atrium, eventually causing lung vessel congestion.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation Causes

Coronary artery disease
Decreased heart oxygenation causing ischemia of valve
Infection on the valve causing perforation or destruction
Mitral valve prolapse or click-murmur syndrome
Mitral valve with extra cords
Rheumatic heart disease
Stemming from a history of rheumatic fever
Ruptured chordae tendinae
Causing a leaflet of the valve to not move

Symptoms of Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Fluid retention in the legs or abdomen if severe, indicating right-sided failure
Shortness of breath
Inability to breathe normal during exertion, while lying flat, and/or while sleeping, indicating left-heart failure

Mitral Valve Regurgitation Diagnosis

At UT Southwestern Medical Center, your doctor will use several tests to determine the problem. Common diagnostic tests include:

Cardiac catheterization
To determine left ventricle function, degree of regurgitation, and lung vessel pressures
Chest X-ray
To evaluate heart enlargement
To visualize the mitral valve and determine cause for alteration
To evaluate heart rhythm; may see evidence of left-ventricle hypertrophy
Physical exam
To hear via stethoscope a holosystolic blowing murmur

Treatment Options for Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Intra-aortic balloon pump
Performed in acute settings
Medications (symptomatic relief)
Digitalis for atrial fibrillation; diuretics to reduce congestion and volume overload; vasodilators for acute symptoms; or anticoagulants to prevent clot formation
Mitral valve repair
To eliminate foreign valve placement and lessen the need for chronic anticoagulation
Mitral valve replacement
To prevent significant muscular dysfunction
For conditions including progressive heart failure, heart enlargement, and ruptured tendinae

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a mitral valve regurgitation expert at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.