UC San Diego Health
menu iconMenu
search iconSearch
Health Library Explorer
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z A-Z Listings Contact Us

Heart Valve Problems: Mitral Insufficiency

Mitral insufficiency means your mitral valve has problems closing. This lets blood leak back through the valve. A small amount of leaking blood rarely leads to problems. But severe cases can cause damage to the heart.

Top view of closed mitral valve with insufficiency.
Closed mitral valve with insufficiency (viewed from above).
Cross section of heart showing mitral valve insufficiency.

Possible causes of mitral insufficiency

Causes may include:

  • Heart damage from rheumatic fever or other disease

  • Aging

  • Mitral valve prolapse

Treating mitral insufficiency

Medications may be prescribed. These help the heart work better. In severe cases, heart valve surgery may be needed to repair or replace the valve.

Online Medical Reviewer: Images reviewed by StayWell medical illustration team.
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer: Russell, Nikki, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/24/2014
© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.