Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Your input helps shape an effective treatment plan.

JoAnne M. Foody, MD, FACC, CardioSmart Editor-in-Chief

Your blood is supposed to follow a one-way path through your heart. It flows in through the top chamber (the left atrium), down to the bottom chamber (the left ventricle), and then out to your body. Your mitral valve separates these two chambers and keeps the blood from flowing backward.  In mitral valve regurgitation, your mitral valve does not work as it should and allows blood to flow backward into your upper heart chamber.

Mitral valve regurgitation can happen suddenly (acute) or, more commonly, gradually over time (chronic). Acute mitral valve regurgitation is often caused by damage to the heart, perhaps from a heart attack or a heart infection called endocarditis. There are many possible reasons you can develop chronic mitral valve regurgitation, including mitral valve prolapse, rheumatic heart disease and untreated high blood pressure.

If you have mitral valve regurgitation, you may notice that you feel very tired and that you have a hard time catching your breath when you exercise or when you are lying down. You may also notice swelling in your legs.

Your treatment will depend on the type and severity of your condition and may include medications or surgery. Use this condition center to learn more, create a list of questions to ask your health care provider and get practical tips.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation News & Events

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A recent scientific statement weighed the pros and cons of using tests in healthy individuals between 12-25 years old.

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Weight Watchers and Atkins Equally as Effective

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Enter the "I am CardioSmart" Patient Contest

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Tell us how you are living well with heart disease for a chance to win a trip to San Diego, CA.

Coca-Cola Family Track Walk in Richmond, VA

Aug 29, 2014
A fellow of the American College of Cardiology will be at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 6 to share tips on heart health and the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Heart Group Says E-Cigarettes Require Strict Regulation

Aug 28, 2014
Electronic cigarettes should be included in smoke-free air laws, according to the American Heart Association.

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No matter how much you may exercise, sitting for long periods of time reduces fitness, finds study.

Staying Active and Reducing Sedentary Time Key to Combating Obesity

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Study finds that increasing physical activity and limiting sedentary time is the best combination for obesity prevention.

Reducing Risk of Heart Complications During Surgery

Aug 01, 2014
New guidelines help doctors and patients make the best possible decisions related to non-cardiac surgery.

Reducing Health Disparities in Hispanics and Latinos

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Hispanics in the U.S. face dramatic health disparities, according to a recently-released statement.

Short Runs May Help Adults Live Longer, Healthier Lives

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According to a recent study, running just 5-10 minutes a day could have significant health benefits.

Heat Stroke, Not Sudden Cardiac Death, is Top Threat for Marathon Runners

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Long distance running involves a slightly increased risk of death, with heat stroke being the main cause, finds study.

Minding Your Portions

Jul 28, 2014
Committing to a heart-healthy diet can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke or repeat events. This includes watching what you put on your plate.

Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women Encouraged to Increase Seafood Consumption

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency recently updated guidelines regarding seafood consumption for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

E-cigarettes Can Help Smokers Quit

Jun 23, 2014
E-cigarettes are as effective as the patch in helping smokers quit, finds study.

Heart Events Worsen Outcomes for Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Jun 23, 2014

Study highlights importance of heart disease prevention for patients with chronic kidney disease.

Are Diet Drinks on Par with Water for Losing Weight?

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According to a new study, diet beverages could help people lose more weight than drinking water alone.

Phone-Based Support Helps Heart Patients with Depression

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Researchers develop simple, cost-effective treatment for heart patients diagnosed with depression or anxiety.

Spirit of the Heart in South Bronx, NY

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Spirit of the Heart events offer heart disease screening and events in underserved communities.

Web-Based Program Helps Patients Improve Heart Health

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Not only do Web-based programs help patients lower risk for heart disease, they’re more affordable than traditional counseling, according to study.

Worldwide Obesity Rates 'Startling'

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Major study finds obesity rates have increased dramatically in all corners of the world over last three decades.

NIH Engages Women in Medical Research

May 29, 2014
The National Institutes of Health has unveiled new policies that will engage women in all phases of medical research.

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