Mitral Valve Regurgitation: A Public Health Concern

Understanding the challenges facing Mitral Regurgitation, the most common heart valve condition

What is Mitral Regurgitation?

Mitral Regurgitation, a heart valve condition, is the most common valvular abnormality worldwide affecting over 2% of the total population, and 10% of the elderly population aged over 751,2. It is also sometimes referred to as mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence.

Mitral Regurgitation (or MR) is a severe cardiac disease and refers to a condition in which the valve between the heart’s left chambers (the mitral valve) doesn’t close completely, allowing blood to leak back across it, rather than continuing on to supply the organs with oxygenated blood.

What are the symptoms and types of Mitral Regurgitation?

Symptoms of MR

With Mitral Regurgitation, severe leakage can lead to a lack of oxygenated blood in the body, which can manifest as tiredness, fatigue, irregular heart beat, sensation of a rapid, pounding or fluttering heartbeat and/or shortness of breath. These symptoms can increase over time. If untreated, the condition can lead to heart failure and even death.

Prevalence of MR

This disease is progressively more prevalent with age. In Western countries, it is estimated that over 4 million patients currently suffer from MR3. Furthermore, as a result of an increase in life expectancy, the prevalence of Mitral Regurgitation is expected to increase4. Thus, MR is an important and growing public health concern around the world.

Types of MR

There are two types of Mitral Regurgitation, primary and secondary5. Primary MR, which is also known as degenerative or organic MR, is caused by abnormalities of the mitral valve component. Secondary MR, also known as functional or ischemic MR, is caused by abnormalities of the juxtaposed cardiac chambers, the left ventricle and/or the left atrium.

What treatment options are available for Mitral Regurgitation?

Treatment for mitral valve regurgitation will depend on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause.

Without proper treatment, severe Mitral Regurgitation can cause major heart problems or even lead to heart failure. Treatment, decided by the patient’s Heart team, may require regular monitoring and medications; and surgical or minimally invasive procedures may be necessary to repair or replace the valve.

Among MR patients with moderate to severe disease, there has been a lack of treatment options, as some of these patients are at high surgical risk or not suitable candidates for transcatheter repair (TEER).

In response to this unmet need, Transcatheter Mitral Valve Replacement (TMVR) aims to provide a treatment solution for these MR patients : a minimally invasive alternative to traditional open-heart surgery for treating mitral valve disease. The pioneering HighLife TMVR solution distinguishes itself with a trans-septal approach : The HighLife TSMVR (Trans-septal Mitral Valve Replacement) Solution, This trans-septal solution is designed to be less invasive and less traumatic for the patient, with an approach that is generally associated with a reduced risk for periprocedural complications as well as with a faster recovery.

Learn more about our TSMVR Solution

1 – Burden of valvular heart diseases: a population base study. Nkomo VT et al.
2 – The modern epidemiology of heart valve disease. S. Coffey et al.
3 – Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update. A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2018. Benjamin EJ et al.
4 – J. L. Zamorano, Heart valve disease: state of the art, 1st ed. 2020
5 – Mitral regurgitation. Enriquez-Sarano M, Akins CW, Vahanian A. Lancet. 2009