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Complications of mitral regurgitation

Mitral regurgitation is also well-known under the names mitral insufficiency and mitral incompetence. Mitral regurgitation is a disease of the heart when the mitral valve, which is placed between two left heart’s chambers, does not close firmly enough, which results in the leakage of blood from the left ventricle into the left atrium. As a result, blood does not flow through our body efficiently.

Like any disease, mitral regurgitation has its own symptoms and warning signs. Most often symptoms that occur are shortness of breath, quick blood flowing through our blood stream, people feels great fatigue, cough a lot, especially at night, or they wake breathless. Excessive urination, swollen ankles and feet as well as heart palpitation are the symptoms that happen with this kind of disease. When these symptoms are established, we should contact a physician. In the case of mitral regurgitation, the doctor usually hears a heart murmur first.

Mitral regurgitation can be mild and then it does not cause any effect. However, if there is a severe form of mitral regurgitation, it can lead to serious complications. Mild regurgitation is usually not treated but in the case of a severe one, often a surgery is necessary, because it can cause a heart failure. In this case, the heart cannot pump enough blood required by the body. In addition, mitral regurgitation creates additional pressure on the heart; the left chamber receives more blood and gradually weakens. Fluid and pressure in the lungs create additional pressure on the right side of the heart and thus lead to ankle swelling which is called edema. People suffering from this disorder feel tired, are short of breath and even sometimes wake at night without breath.

Mitral regurgitation can also cause atria fibrillation, which is a condition where the upper chambers of the heart pound very quickly, thus increasing the possibility to cause blood clots. A large and serious problem may occur if the blood clots from the heart through the bloodstream reach the brain. In that case, the stroke may happen. Heart arrhythmias may occur also as a result of mitral regurgitation. Furthermore, endocarditic is another complication that can occur in the case of mitral regurgitation. It is an infection of the inside layer of the heart that typically affects only one heart valves, usually the one that is already damaged. If the mitral regurgitation is not treated on time or adequately, it can cause the occurrence of pulmonary hypertension, which is increased blood pressure in the arteries in the lungs.

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