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Mitral valve regurgitation (leakage)

  • Definition: 
    • Mitral valve regurgitation is a condition characterized by leakage of the mitral valve.  The mitral valve functions in directing blood flow into the heart from the lungs which are just delivered oxygenated blood.  Leakage of the mitral valve causes blood flow to reenter the lungs and simultaneously causes the heart muscle itself to become overworked.
  • Prevention:  
    • Because rheumatic fever is a risk factor for developing mitral valve regurgitation, if you have a severe sore throat you should see a doctor. Untreated strep throat can lead to rheumatic fever. Fortunately, strep throat is easily treated with antibiotics.
    • If you have high blood pressure, it's important to make sure it's well controlled to prevent mitral regurgitation.
    • If you have an abnormal valve, such as mitral valve prolapse, it's important to seek medical care if you develop a fever or signs or symptoms of an infection of your heart tissue (endocarditis).
    • If you have mitral valve regurgitation, talk to your doctor about the frequency of follow-up examinations and have your doctor regularly check the amount of regurgitation through regular physical examinations and follow-up echocardiograms when needed.
  • Treatment: 
    • Mitral valve regurgitation treatment depends on how severe your condition is, and if it's getting worse. The goal of treatment is to improve your heart's function while minimizing your signs and symptoms and avoiding future complications.
    • Medications such as diuretics are available to relieve fluid accumulation in your lungs or legs, which can accompany mitral valve regurgitation.
    • High blood pressure makes mitral valve regurgitation worse, so if you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower it.
    • Following a low-salt diet helps prevent fluid buildup and helps control blood pressure.

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Leonard J.Scuderi, M.D., F.A.C.C.
Cardiologist and Cardiovascular Disease Specialist
CardioFit Medical Group, Inc.
23456 Hawthorne Blvd, Suite 250
Torrance, CA   90505
Phone 310-791-5577
Fax 310-791-