Features September 2015 Issue

Early Interventions May Be Best for Mitral Valve Disease Patients

When the heart contracts, blood flows from the left ventricle through the aortic valve (A) and to the aorta, the body’s largest artery. In someone with mitral valve regurgitation, some blood also leaks back through the mitral valve (B) to the left atrium.

Early Interventions May Be Best for Mitral Valve Disease Patients

A Cleveland Clinic study suggests that fewer symptoms and shorter hospital stays may result from more aggressive mitral valve repair.

Mitral valve disease is the most common problem affecting any of the heart’s four valves. Treatment of mitral valve disease, however, often begins with a long period of “watchful waiting.” The idea is that if the mitral valve disease isn’t yet compromising heart function and causing any noticeable symptoms, then regular tests and checkups are sufficient. When the condition worsens and an individual’s health is jeopardized, then a procedure to repair or replace the valve is done.

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