Mitral Valve Regurgitation - Treatment Overview
Treatment for chronicmitral valve regurgitation (MR) includes monitoring
your heart function and symptoms, as well as treating symptoms as they develop.
If MR becomes severe, the mitral valve will need to be repaired or replaced.
Treatment for acute MR is immediate. Medicines and
urgent surgery are usually necessary.
As you review your treatment
options, consider the following:
- If you have mild-to-moderate chronic MR and no
symptoms, your doctor may only monitor your condition.
- If you have
moderate-to-severe MR but no symptoms, your doctor may suggest repair or
replacement of the mitral valve before symptoms develop, to prevent further
- If you have chronic MR, medicines may be used to
treat your symptoms and prevent complications. For acute MR, medicines are used
to stabilize your condition, but urgent surgery is usually necessary.
- Severe MR generally requires valve repair or replacement to
heart failure. Repairing a damaged valve is preferred
Initial treatment for
chronic mitral valve regurgitation depends on whether
you have symptoms and how severe the regurgitation is. If you don't have
symptoms and you only have mild-to-moderate regurgitation, your doctor may only
monitor your heart and valve function with an
The echocardiogram uses
painless ultrasound waves to check how well your heart is pumping blood (ejection fraction) and to measure the size of your
left ventricle. The smaller the ejection fraction, the harder your heart must
work to pump a sufficient volume of blood.
Surgery is recommended
when ejection fraction drops below 60% and/or your left ventricle is larger
than 40 mm at rest.1 If you need surgery, your doctor
repairing or replacing your mitral valve to avoid
further heart damage. When you begin to have symptoms, the regurgitation is
advanced, and you will need surgery to prevent
Your doctor may prescribe
medicines, such as:
Initial treatment for acute MR
includes use of the above medicines as necessary to stabilize your condition.
If medicines don't help, an
intra-aortic balloon pump may be needed. This
device has a balloon attached to the end of a catheter and is threaded up into
the aorta, the main artery leaving the heart. The balloon inflates and deflates
in sequence with your heartbeat to help circulate blood, decrease the heart's
workload, and increase blood flow. Urgent surgery to repair or replace your
mitral valve will also be needed, as well as treatment for the cause of the