Types of Mitral Valve Disease
Mitral Valve Regurgitation – Mitral valve regurgitation (also called mitral insufficiency) occurs when the flaps (leaflets) of the mitral valve weaken, causing blood to leak backward into the heart. For mild cases, treatment may not be necessary. However, in moderate to severe cases, surgery may be recommended to either repair or replace the damaged valve. Left untreated, severe mitral valve regurgitation can cause heart failure or serious heart rhythm problems.
Mitral Valve Stenosis – Mitral valve stenosis occurs when the heart’s mitral valve is narrowed due to the valve becoming stiff or scarred, or the valve flaps partially joining together. This results in the valve not opening as widely as it should, which causes poor blood flow and may result in blood backing up into the lungs. Left untreated, mitral valve stenosis can lead to serious heart complications.
Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) – The most common cause of mitral valve regurgitation is mitral valve prolapse. This occurs when the flaps (leaflets) of the mitral valve bulge back into the left atrium as the heart contracts. Moderate or severe mitral regurgitation can cause weakness of the heart muscle, known as congestive heart failure.