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Mitral regurgitation - acute

  • Alternative Names

    Mitral insufficiency; Acute mitral regurgitation


    Patients with severe symptoms may need to be admitted to a hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

    Emergency surgery may be necessary for severe leakages, usually resulting from infection, heart attack, or rupture of a valve structure.

    Medications may include:

    • Antibiotics to fight any bacterial infections
    • Antiarrhythmics to control heart rhythms
    • Blood thinners to prevent clot formation if atrial fibrillation is present (mainly used for patients with chronic mitral regurgitation)
    • Digitalis to strengthen the heartbeat
    • Diuretics (water pills) to remove excess fluid in the lungs
    • Vasodilators to dilate blood vessels and reduce the workload of the heart

    If blood pressure cannot be controlled, an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) may be used to help move blood forward into the aorta, the main artery from the heart.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    How well a patient does depends on the cause and severity of the valve leakage. Milder forms may become a chronic condition.

    Acute mitral regurgitation can rarely be controlled with medications. Surgery is usually needed to repair or replace the mitral valve. See: Valve replacement.

    Abnormal heart rhythms associated with acute mitral regurgitation can sometimes be deadly.

    • Abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation
    • Blood clots in other parts of the body
    • Chronic mitral regurgitation
    • Heart failure
    • Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
    • Stroke
    • Valve infection

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation, or if symptoms worsen or do not improve with treatment.

    Call your health care provider if you are being treated for this condition and develop signs of infection, which include:

    • Chills
    • Fever
    • General ill feeling
    • Headache
    • Muscle aches