Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Mitral Regurgitation
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Mitral Regurgitation

Hi, I have been trying to email a question, so I am glad I got through today!  One week ago today, my five year old daughter was diagnosed with mitral regurgitation.  She has never had a problem, but our pediatrician heard a murmor at her annual check up and referred us to a pediatric cardiologist.  Honestly, this diagnosis has completely upset me.  I have not slept and have been so anxious.  I worry about her quality of life.  Right now, the regurgitation is very mild.  My doctor said that this problem is usually secondary to another congenital heart defect but she does not have another one.  Can you please tell me..

Does mitral regurgitation always progress in children and if so, what is the normal progression?  Could she have mild regurgitation for many many years?

Will she be able to be a normal teenager and one day have a baby and healthy pregnancy with this disease?

As far as sports, he said she had no limitations.  However, I found one thread on here where a dr recommended a girl with MR not do gymnastics?

Have you ever seen patients that had only MR, and did they go on to lead normal healthy lives?

I have found very very little online about children with this disease. I worry so much that she is going to die from this.  It truly has made me crazy!  My doctor is supposedly the best in Memphis, we have waited two months to see him.  Thanks for your help!  I have also faxed a list of questions to him because I was so overwhelmed when he told us something was wrong with her.. I could not think of anything to say.  Thanks so much for your help!
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Dear JJ,

Isolated mitral regurgitation in children is not frequently seen.  As you were told, there is often something structurally wrong with the heart, especially the mitral valve, when this is seen.  Another potential problem is that there is something wrong with the left ventricle and it is dilated with decreased function.  However, if it is quite mild and the mitral valve (and the rest of the heart) are otherwise normal, this can certainly be observed without intervention.  Without evaluating your daughter, I cannot say for sure what her prognosis is.  However, these patients typically do quite well and should not have any problems.  If it is mild and the rest of the heart is normal, there is not an indication to have any specific restrictions or precautions.

To keep this in perspective, we typically talk about the amount of valve leak across a spectrum:  trivial, mild, moderate, and severe.  Your daughter is definitely on the lower end of this.  Therefore, she is likely in no imminent or long-term risk UNLESS there is another progressive process going on in the heart.  She will need routine follow-up, though, to see if there is any progression or changes over time.
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She does have MVP with the mitral regurgitation.  Sorry, I forgot to say that. There are just no other detectable congenital heart defects except that one.   Does that change your answer to me at all?  Could that be the only thing causing the regurgitation?  Would having the MVP also increase the long term risk to her life?  Is this reguritation with the MVP more frequently seen?
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Marie M Gleason, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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