Mitral valve leakage can be caused by several different heart problems, Elizabeth Tracey reports


When blood flows backward from your left ventricle to your left atrium, that’s due to leakage of the mitral valve, found between these two chambers. Cardiovascular surgeon James Gammie at Johns Hopkins says there are different ways to develop this condition.

Gammie: There’s something that we call secondary mitral regurgitation or leakage  of the valve and in that case the valves normal but the heart becomes abnormal. So I tell patients that their heart grows from the size of a normal orange size to a grapefruit size and when that happens then it so happens that the valve and those cords are attached to the inside of the heart, the two flaps are pulled apart and they can't come together properly and that's a relatively common problem.  :28

Gammie says the definitive test to determine what’s going on with mitral valve leakage is an ultrasound study of the heart, where the leakage can be visualized and quantitated. Based on this study a treatment plan can be developed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.