In the current issue of Cardiovascular Innovations and Applications, researcher Blase A. Carabello, from East Carolina University, Greenville, NC, USA presents a case study of an asymptomatic patient with severe mitral regurgitation.
In primary mitral regurgitation there are anatomic abnormalities of the mitral valve causing backward flow, placing a hemodynamic burden on the left ventricle. If this burden is severe and prolonged, it leads to left ventricular damage, heart failure, and death. The preferred therapy is restoration of mitral competence through mitral valve repair, which is safer than mitral valve replacement. When repair is performed in a timely fashion, lifespan can be returned to that of a normal individual. Triggers for timely repair include the onset of symptoms and evidence of left ventricular dysfunction as determined by ejection fraction falling toward 60% and/or end-systolic dimension increasing toward 40 mm.
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