Pathophysiology of Degenerative Mitral Regurgitation: New 3-Dimensional Imaging Insights
Despite its high prevalence, little is known about mechanisms of mitral regurgitation in degenerative mitral valve disease apart from the leaflet prolapse itself. Mitral valve is a complex structure, including mitral annulus, mitral leaflets, papillary muscles, chords, and left ventricular walls. All these structures are involved in physiological and pathological functioning of this valvuloventricular complex but up to now were difficult to analyze because of inherent limitations of 2-dimensional imaging. The advent of 3-dimensional echocardiography, computed tomography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging overcoming these limitations provides new insights into mechanistic analysis of degenerative mitral regurgitation. This review will detail the contribution of quantitative and qualitative dynamic analysis of mitral annulus and mitral leaflets by new imaging methods in the understanding of degenerative mitral regurgitation pathophysiology.