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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 lead to problems. But severe cases can cause damage to the heart.

Cutaway view of heart

Imag of closed valve
Closed mitral valve with insufficiency (viewed from above).

Image of man
Having mitral insufficiency doesn't mean you need to stop being active.

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: Ailawadi, Gorav, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Garrett, John R, MD, FACS
Date Last Reviewed: 4/3/2012
© 2000-2014 Krames StayWell, 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.