Heart Disease : Mitral Valve Regurgitation and Mitral Valve Replacement : Causes & Diagnosis

The causes of Mitral valve regurgitation are Acquired or Congenital. Congenital Mitral regurgitation is very rare and is usually secondary to some other associated congenital abnormalities.

The causes of acquired chronic mitral regurgitation include :

  • Rheumatic heart disease,
  • Hypertension,
  • Coronary artery disease,
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse,
  • Marfan’s syndrome,
  • Endocarditis,
  • Cardiac tumors,
  • Secondary to dilated cardiomyopathy and aortic regurgitation.

Chronic mitral regurgitation may be asymptomatic in the compensated phase, when the left ventricle hypertrophies and the left atrial size increases proportionately to maintain the cardiac output. When the patient progresses to the decompensated phase, there may be left ventricular dysfunction. He/She may have symptoms of heart failure. Pulmonary congestion increases.

Diagnosis

(1) Chest X-ray reveals the enlargement of the heart chambers.

(2) Electrocardiogram detects the presence of atrial fibrillation. It shows evidence of left atrial enlargement and left ventricular hypertrophy. Old myocardial infarction is also shown in the ECG.

(3) Mitral regurgitation can be confirmed by an echocardiogram. Usually a Doppler echo shows the leaking of blood back into the left atrium. Echo can be also used to measure the chamber sizes and the severity of regurgitation.

(4) Cardiac catheterization is another procedure to confirm mitral regurgitation. Coexisting aortic valve disease or coronary artery disease can also be diagnosed.

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