ABOUT MITRAL REGURGITATION
Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a condition in which the heart's mitral valve leaflets do not close tightly. When this happens, blood flows backward from the heart's left ventricle into the left atrium. The heart must then work harder to push blood through the body, which can cause fatigue, shortness of breath and worsening heart failure.
There are two types of mitral regurgitation: degenerative and functional. Degenerative mitral regurgitation, also called primary mitral regurgitation, is caused by damage to the mitral valve leaflets. Functional mitral regurgitation, also called secondary mitral regurgitation, is caused by enlargement of the heart due to heart attack or heart failure.
MR is the most common type of heart valve insufficiency in the United States. Approximately 4 million people have significant mitral valve insufficiency, with an annual incidence of 250,000.1-3 Approximately 50,000 of these patients undergo surgery each year in the United States. Prevalence and incidence are similar in Europe, where it's the second most common type of heart valve disease.4 The disease affects millions of people worldwide.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MITRAL REGURGITATION
There are no medications indicated to treat mitral regurgitation, but there are medications used to manage patient symptoms.
For symptomatic patients diagnosed with moderate-severe or severe MR, surgery is generally recommended to repair or replace the mitral valve. This typically involves open-heart surgery with the patient on cardiopulmonary bypass. Patients recovering from mitral valve surgery may take several months to regain normal physical function and activity.
TRANSCATHETER MITRAL VALVE REPAIR:
The MitraClip procedure is a minimally invasive catheter-based therapy. It is performed using venous access and real-time imaging thereby avoiding cardiopulmonary bypass. Patients generally recover within the post-procedure hospitalization and demonstrate improved functional capacity and quality of life. This treatment increases the options for patients with significant, symptomatic, degenerative MR who are at prohibitive risk for surgical intervention.
1. US Census Bureau. Statistical Abstract of the US: 2006, Table 12.
2. Nkomo et al. Burden of Valvular Heart Diseases: A Population-based Study, Lancet, 2006; 368: 1005-11.
3. Patel et al. Mitral Regurgitation in Patients with Advanced Systolic Heart Failure, J of Cardiac Failure, 2004.
4. Iung, B et al. Eur Heart J. 2003;24:1231-1243.