Therapeutic decision-making for patients with fluctuating mitral regurgitation

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Mitral regurgitation (MR) is a common, progressive, and difficult-to-manage disease. MR is dynamic in nature, with physiological fluctuations occurring in response to various stimuli such as exercise and ischaemia, which can precipitate the development of symptoms and subsequent cardiac events. In both chronic primary and secondary MR, the dynamic behaviour of MR can be reliably examined during stress echocardiography. Dynamic fluctuation of MR can also have prognostic value; patients with a marked increase in regurgitant volume or who exhibit increased systolic pulmonary artery pressure during exercise have lower symptom-free survival than those who do not experience significant changes in MR and systolic pulmonary artery pressure during exercise. Identifying patients who have dynamic MR, and understanding the mechanisms underlying the condition, can potentially influence revascularization strategies (such as the surgical restoration of coronary blood flow) and interventional treatment (including cardiac resynchronization therapy and new approaches targeted to the mitral valve).

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