Follow-up echocardiograms are important in Mitral Regurgitation

Patient

Q: My father-in-law is now 73 years old. Since 2 months he is feeling uneasy, a bit of sleeplessness and according to him he is weak. As per Doctor's advise one echo-cardigram is done. Report depicts Moderate MR, Mild TR and small ASD can be seen. He has been given Ramcor H. Should we worried about his health? Please advice.

Doctor

A:   Moderate Mitral Regurgitation (MR) means that one of his hearts valves, the mitral valve, is floppy and rather than closing to prevent back flow of blood is remains partially open. This can result in an elevation of pressure in the left side of the heart which may cause symptoms such as shortness of breath or fatigue. Tablets only have a limited effect for this condition and may help to reduce a build-up of fluid. If the degree of floppiness gets worse i.e. severe then the valve may need to be replaced. This would require surgery and therefore generally is delayed as long as possible. Mild TR refers to floppiness of the tricuspid valve although this is generally considered to be of no clinical significance. A small ASD is a hole between the left and right sides of the heart, in the top chambers of the heart (atria). If this is not affecting blood flow then this is something that should be monitored with regular echocardiograms. Follow up of all these issues is important, with particular attention to the degree of floppiness of the mitral valve.

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