Mitral valve regurgitation (MR) (or mitral insufficiency (MI)) describes the malfunctioning of the mitral valve, allowing the backflow of blood into the left atrium during heart contraction.
This malfunction of the valve can be caused by elongated or ruptured Chordae Tendineae.
The heart compensates for this inefficient pumping by progressively enlarging, which eventually results in heart failure (see FIGURE 1).
Mitral insufficiency is the most common form of valvular heart disease. According to the Cleveland clinic and the American Heart Association mitral valve regurgitation occurs in about 2-3% of the world’s population. Every year about 250’000 patients are newly diagnosed with it worldwide.
Mitral valve regurgitation occurs with different levels of severity, with not all patients exhibiting symptoms. Patients can thus be divided into “symptomatic” and “asymptomatic” cohorts.