Mitral Valve Regurgitation is also termed as mitral regurgitation, mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence, It is essentially a condition in which the heart's mitral valve does not seal and shut properly, allowing blood to flow backwards into the heart, which is basically the opposite and wrong direction.
If the mitral valve regurgitation is of a serious level, the passage of blood from the heart to the rest of the body cannot occur as efficiently and lead to various complications. It can even result in a person feeling tired or out of breath quite often. Also Read: Experiencing Fatigue, Breathlessness? Could Be Iron Deficiency
The human heart consists of four chambers – right atrium, left atrium, right ventricle and left ventricle. These permit the flow of blood via blood vessels controlled by valves, only in specific directions from or to organs, to ensure proper supply of nutrients across all tissues in the body.
Mitral valve regurgitation can be caused by problems with the mitral valve, also called primary mitral valve regurgitation. Diseases of the left ventricle can lead to secondary or functional mitral valve regurgitation.
Many conditions can result in mitral valve regurgitation such as:
Mitral valve prolapse
Congenital heart defects
It is strictly advised to seek immediate medical attention from a healthcare provider in case any signs of mitral valve regurgitation are experienced by a person. This is to ensure that pertinent treatment measures are given and the patient recovers completely.
Some people with mitral valve disease might not experience symptoms for many years. Signs and symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation, which depend on its severity and how quickly the condition develops, can include:
Abnormal heart sound, or a heart murmur
Shortness of breath
The medical professional who is a heart specialist also known as a cardiologist will enquire about the patient’s family medical history and also examine any external signs of breathlessness or fatigue displayed by the individual.
He or she will also test the heartbeat by means of a stethoscope to see if any abnormal sounds are present, that could indicate the blood leaking in the opposite backwards direction via the mitral valve. Also Read: Arrhythmia: Don’t Ignore Irregular Heartbeats, Get Help
The doctor also performs additional tests such as echocardiogram, electrocardiogram and chest x-ray, to determine the extent of damage to the cardiac system. Certain advanced imaging and invasive protocols may also be carried out, including cardiac MRI, cardiac CT, stress tests and cardiac catheterization, to find out the exact spot of damage and determine the course of treatment as per the lab diagnostic results.
Treatment for mitral valve regurgitation depends upon how severe the damage to heart vessels and valves is. In minor instances, the patient is kept under constant observation by a team of medical experts and may not need any advanced remedial methods to rectify the defect as it may heal by itself.
However, if the damage to the mitral valve and heart functions affects the normal productivity and metabolism of the patient, then prescriptions medications are given to be followed on a stringent regimen. These include diuretics, blood thinners and hypertension drugs which help to lower additional pressure and fluid buildup around the regions of the heart.
In grave situations of mitral valve regurgitation, the valve may have to be replaced by invasive surgery procedures, in order to restore normal heart health of the patient.