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August 14, 2013

Surgery for Mitral Regurgitation: Sooner or Later?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle
JAMA. 2013;310(6):587-588. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8644

Mitral regurgitation may be due to primary diseases of the valve leaflets or secondary to alterations in left ventricular (LV) geometry caused by ischemic disease or cardiomyopathy. The most common cause of primary mitral regurgitation is mitral valve prolapse, occurring in about 2% of the overall population.1 Also known as myxomatous or degenerative valve disease, mitral valve prolapse is characterized by myomatous changes and fibroelastic deficiency resulting in leaflet thickening, redundancy, and chordal laxity. During ventricular systole, valve leaflet sagging into the left atrium results in inadequate coaptation and consequent mitral regurgitation.1