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Mitral regurgitation - chronic

  • Alternative Names

    Chronic mitral valve regurgitation; Mitral valve insufficiency


    There are often no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they often develop gradually, and may include:

    • Cough
    • Fatigue, exhaustion, and light-headedness
    • Palpitations (related to atrial fibrillation)
    • Shortness of breath during activity and when lying down
    • Urination, excessive at night

    Signs and tests

    The doctor may detect a thrill (vibration) over the heart when feeling the chest area. An extra heart sound (S4 gallop) and a distinctive heart murmur may be heard when listening to the chest with a stethoscope. However, some patients may not have this murmur. If fluid backs up into the lungs, there may be crackles heard in the lungs.

    The physical exam may also reveal ankle swelling, enlarged liver, distended neck veins, and other signs consistent with right-sided heart failure.

    The following tests may be done:

    • Cardiac color-Doppler study
    • Cardiac catheterization
    • Chest x-ray
    • CT scan of the chest
    • ECG
    • Echocardiogram (an ultrasound examination of the heart)
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
    • Radionuclide scans
    • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)