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Mitral Valve Insufficiency

Mitral Valve Insufficiency

Article Content
  • What is Mitral Valve Insufficiency?
  • Causes and Side Effects of Mitral Valve Insufficiency
  • Symptoms of Mitral Valve Insufficiency
  • What are the Types of Mitral Valve Insufficiency?
  • Diagnosis of Mitral Valve Insufficiency
  • Treatment of Mitral Valve Insufficiency
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency and Quality of Life
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Mitral valve insufficiency, a heart disease, may occur as a result of a change in the direction of blood flow. It is one of the most common heart diseases. If left untreated, it can be life-threatening.

    What is Mitral Valve Insufficiency?

    Mitral insufficiency is a disease that directly affects the valve and can lead to different conditions if left untreated. This disease can be congenital or appear later. The mitral valve allows blood to flow from the upper left chamber of the heart to the lower left chamber. When the valve opens, blood flows from top to bottom, and when it closes, blood flow stops. In other words, there is no blood entry back up. However, if the mitral valve becomes diseased, it may have difficulty closing and blood may flow backwards.

    Causes and Side Effects of Mitral Valve Insufficiency

    Mitral valve disorders can occur for many reasons. These reasons can be listed as follows:

    Mitral Valve Prolapse: The bulging of the mitral valve towards the upper left chamber during heart contraction is called prolapse. This problem can prevent the valve from closing tightly, causing blood to flow backwards.
    Rheumatic Fever: Rheumatic fever, which is a side effect of an untreatable streptococcal (a type of bacteria) throat infection, can damage the mitral valve. If a valve disease develops due to rheumatic fever, it is called rheumatic mitral valve disease.
    Heart Attack: Having a heart attack can damage the area of the heart muscle that supports the valve. If the damage is extensive during the crisis, sudden and severe mitral valve insufficiency may occur. In this case, it is called ischemic mitral regurgitation.
    Congenital: Some people may have congenitally damaged heart valves.
    Cardiomyopathy: This condition is known as the thickening of the heart muscle, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood to the body. This can cause insufficiency because it affects the way the mitral valve works.
    Calcium: Excess calcium accumulated on the mitral valve can lead to insufficiency.
    Damage: Over time, the parts of the mitral valve that attach to the heart wall may stretch and tear. It can be seen especially in people experiencing prolapse and chest injuries. A rupture causes the valve to suddenly leak blood. It may require surgery.
    Endocarditis: Endocarditis, which is inflammation of the inner membrane of the heart's chambers and valves, may occur as a result of an infection. The microbes that cause infection can also stick to a damaged place in the heart.
    Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy for cancer to the chest area can lead to mitral valve regurgitation.

    Mitral valve disease can cause side effects if left untreated. These side effects may include heart enlargement, irregular heartbeat, stroke, heart failure and pulmonary hypertension.

    Symptoms of Mitral Valve Insufficiency


    Mitral valve insufficiency may not cause any symptoms when it first occurs. However, as the disease worsens, it affects heart function and common shortness of breath may first occur. If you make extra effort to breathe while resting, lying down, or trying to sleep, you may have mitral insufficiency. Other mitral valve symptoms can be listed as follows:

    • Edema in the legs or feet,
    • Being extremely tired,
    • Feeling like you are going to faint without fainting (presyncope),
    • Heart palpitations,
    • Cough,
    • Chest pain,

    These symptoms may appear gradually. Symptoms that may appear suddenly may include:

    • Increased respiratory rate and difficulty breathing (heavy breathing),
    • Feeling of suffocation,
    • Difficulty breathing while lying down,
    • Chest tightness,
    • A decrease in the oxygen level in the blood.

    What are the Types of Mitral Valve Insufficiency?

    There are two types of mitral regurgitation. These are called primary and secondary. In primary insufficiency, the problem is that the mitral valve cannot close normally due to damage. In secondary failure, the lower or upper left chambers of the heart are affected. For example, cardiomyopathy can cause the heart to enlarge and weaken, which can change the position of the chambers, preventing the valve from closing. In both types, it can develop suddenly and severely or gradually over time.

    Diagnosis of Mitral Valve Insufficiency

    Mitral valve insufficiency requires a thorough physical examination. Your specialist will assess your medical history and symptoms. He or she may then want to perform some tests. The most common of these tests is a transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE). A TTE uses sound waves to produce images of the heart without pain or puncturing the body. It can show if the heart valve is leaking blood backwards or if there are other problems with the heart. A transesophageal echocardiogram test can also be performed to better visualize the mitral valve. In addition, computed tomography (CT), exercise echocardiogram (ECHO), magnetic resonance imaging or cardiac catheterization may be performed to understand the severity of the disease.

    Treatment of Mitral Valve Insufficiency

    Mitral valve treatment may vary depending on the condition of the disease.

    • Medication: Your specialist may prescribe certain medications to relieve symptoms.
    • End-to-end repair: In this form of treatment, a small clip is attached to the valves. The clip helps the valves to close better.
    • Lid replacement: This is done to fit a new valve. The valve may be mechanical or bioprosthetic.
    • Transcatheter valve replacement: This is a treatment that requires less surgery than valve replacement.
    • Valve repair: Mitral valve surgery can be performed to repair the mitral valve.
    • Minimal valve repair: This surgery can also be performed with smaller surgical incisions.

    Mitral Valve Insufficiency and Quality of Life

    Mitral valve insufficiency is known as a disease that affects quality of life. It negatively affects the quality of life in many ways, such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and limiting physical activities. That's why it's important to get treatment. Medication and surgeries can improve quality of life. Apart from this, you can further improve your quality of life by paying attention to your oral health, avoiding stress, exercising as determined by your doctor, avoiding substances such as smoking and alcohol, and ensuring adequate sleep.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Patients with mitral valve insufficiency and their relatives are curious about the danger of the disease and the postoperative process.

    Is Mitral Valve Insufficiency Dangerous?

    Mitral valve regurgitation can be life-threatening if left untreated. An irregular rhythm (atrial fibrillation) may develop, leading to heart stroke. Heart failure may occur because the heart cannot send normal levels of blood to the body. Blood pressure increases in the vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs, this condition is called pulmonary hypertension. Sudden cardiac arrest may occur.

    What is the Post-Surgery Life Cycle?

    The process of each patient may vary after mitral insufficiency surgery. But in general, you may be monitored in the hospital for the first few days. During this follow-up, your general health can be checked. Physical therapy and exercises can be applied to the individual. Your specialist doctor may prescribe some medications. These medications may be to prevent blood clots or regulate heart rhythm. The foods you eat after surgery are also important. Eating a low-sodium diet may support your heart health. You can consult your dietitian for your diet. It may be necessary to go for regular doctor check-ups. During these checks, your condition can be evaluated and your doctor can give you suggestions to improve your quality of life.

    Can Mitral Valve Insufficiency Be Prevented?

    If you were not born with mitral insufficiency, there are some ways to avoid this disease. However, these may not provide 100% avoidance. Using antibiotics to control rheumatic fever attacks, quitting smoking, eating a healthy and low-sodium diet, having regular health screenings, and limiting caffeine and alcohol can prevent mitral insufficiency.

    * Liv Hospital Editorial Board has contributed to the publication of this content .
    * Contents of this page is for informational purposes only. Please consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. The content of this page does not include information on medicinal health care at Liv Hospital .
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    13 May 2024 14:46:18
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