The mitral valve is the heart valve located between the left atrium (top chamber) and left ventricle (bottom chamber that pumps strongly). When the heart needs to fill with blood, the mitral valve opens and blood flows into the left ventricle. and when the heart pumps, the mitral valve closes and blood flows forward, through the aortic valve (the exit valve of the heart) and into the circulation. In mitral regurgitation, the mitral valve does not close properly and some blood flows back into the left atrium; this is termed “regurgitation”. Small amounts of regurgitation are common but as the amount of regurgitation increases, symptoms such as breathlessness and weakness can result and the heart may enlarge. Medicines or heart valve surgery may be recommended as treatment.
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