Mitral Regurgitation and Aortic Stenosis: Prevalent and Progressive Valve Diseases

Mitral regurgitation

MR is the most frequent valve disease in the United States.1,2 Over 4 million people have significant MR, with an annual incidence of 250,000.1-3 Approximately 50,000 of these patients undergo surgery each year in the United States. The disease affects millions of people worldwide.

Mitral Regurgitation Is a Prevalent and Progressive Disease

MR is the most frequent valve disease in the United States.1,2

If left untreated, MR initiates a cascade of events progressing to heart failure, then death.4-6


Degenerative MR, also called primary MR, is caused by damage to the mitral valve apparatus with prolapse or flail of the leaflets. It can be related to age, a birth defect, or underlying heart disease. Functional MR, also called secondary MR, is caused by enlargement of the heart due to heart attack or heart failure.

For Many, Surgery Is Contraindicated and Medications Are Not Sufficient

Approximately 50% of symptomatic patients with severe MR are not candidates for surgery due to underlying factors.* MR patients who most need intervention are often the most likely to be denied surgery.8


Received Surgery


Denied surgery*

*Based on a survey of severely symptomatic MR patients in NYHA Class III-IV (n = 396); 10% had surgery the following year. The remainder had no surgery; medical management only.

Symptoms of Mitral Regurgitation

Symptoms are usually those of heart failure: fatigue, dyspnea, orthopnea, edema, and palpitations—the final symptom often due to atrial fibrillation.

With left ventricular (LV) enlargement, there is an increase in pulmonary artery pressure and venous pressure, and eventually LV compensation fails. 

Auscultation findings include:

  • Notable S1 
  • S3 at the apex, indicating a dilated left ventricle and severe mitral regurgitation

The S3 often suggests a dilated left ventricle and progression to heart failure.

Effective Intervention Is Possible for Your Patients with Significant MR

Patients with significant MR now have more options for effective treatment: not only surgical mitral valve replacement or repair, but transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVr) as well.


For symptomatic patients diagnosed with moderate-severe or severe MR, surgery is generally recommended to repair or replace the mitral valve.9 This typically involves open-heart surgery with the patient on cardiopulmonary bypass. However, some patients are not eligible for repair or replacement based on surgical risk because of severe comorbidities or advanced age.9

According to the 2017 AHA/ACC Guidelines, TMVr with MitraClipTM therapy may be considered for patients with symptomatic severe degenerative MR who are not suitable for surgery.9 Given the prevalence of MR, and the decreased long-term survival in medically managed patients, it’s important to consult established treatment guidelines and make intervention the standard of care for all appropriate patients.4,8,9

  • Robert Farivar, MD discusses MitraClip therapy
  • Robert Farivar, MD
    Chief Thoracic Surgeon Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minnesota, USA

    “There’s a large population of these patients that are not good surgical candidates. A lot of that age plays a role into, that increases our risk exponentially. One way to remove that risk is through a therapy like MitraClipTM.”

Treatment Options for Mitral Valve Disease

Treatment Options for Mitral Valve Disease

Various Abbott products offer effective treatment for mitral valve disease.

MitraClipTM for TMV                        

EpicTM Valve for Surgical MV Replacement

The information provided is not intended for medical diagnosis or treatment as a substitute for professional advice.  Consult with a physician or qualified healthcare provider for appropriate medical advices.

AP2947060-WBU Rev. A

  1. Benjamin EJ, et al. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update. A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018;137:e67–e492. Doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000558
  2. Nkomo VT, et al. Burden of valvular heart diseases: a population-based study. Lancet. 2006;368(9540):1005-1011.
  3. US Census Bureau. 2012-2016 American Community Survey Census Bureau 5-Year Estimates. Accessed July 23, 2018.
  4. Nishimura RA, et al. 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014;63(22):2438-2488.
  5. Grigioni F, et al; MIDA Investigators. Outcomes in mitral regurgitation due to flail leaflets: a multicenter European study. JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2008;1(2):133-141.
  6. Enriquez-Sarano M, et al. Quantitative determinants of the outcome of asymptomatic mitral regurgitation. N Engl J Med. 2005;352(9):875-883
  7. Cioffi G, et al. Functional mitral regurgitation predicts 1-year mortality in elderly patients with systolic chronic heart failure. Eur J Heart Fail. 2005;7(7):1112-1117.
  8. Mirabel M, et al. What are the characteristics of patients with severe, symptomatic, mitralregurgitation who are denied surgery? Eur Heart J. 2007;28(11):1358-1365.
  9. Nishimura RA, et al. 2017 AHA/ACC focused update of the 2014 AHA/ACC guideline for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines. Circulation. 2017;135(25):e1159-e1195.

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