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THE BEST CARDIOLOGIST IN YELAHANKA Mitral regurgitation A regurgitant mitral valve allows part of the left ventricular stroke volume to regurgitate into the left atrium, imposing a volume load on both the left atrium and the left ventricle. Symptoms: Dyspnoea (increased left atrial pressure); fatigue (decreased cardiac output). General signs: Tachypnoea. The pulse: Normal, or sharp upstroke due to rapid left ventricular decompression; atrial fibrillation is relatively common. Palpation: The apex beat may be displaced, diffuse and hyperdynamic if left ventricular enlargement has occurred; a pansystolic thrill may be present at the apex; a parasternal impulse (due to left atrial enlargement behind the right ventricle—the left atrium is often larger in mitral regurgitation than in mitral stenosis and can be enormous). All these signs suggest severe mitral regurgitation. Auscultation Soft or absent S1 (by the end of diastole, atrial and ventricular pressures have equalised and the valve cusps have drifted back together); left ventricular S3, due to rapid left ventricular filling in early diastole; pansystolic murmur maximal at the apex and usually radiating towards the axilla. Causes of chronic mitral regurgitation: (i) Degenerative; (ii) rheumatic; (iii) mitral valve prolapse; (iv) papillary muscle dysfunction, due to left ventricular failure or ischaemia. Mitral valve prolapse (systolic-click murmur syndrome) This syndrome can cause a systolic murmur or click, or both, at the apex. The presence of the murmur indicates that there is some mitral regurgitation present. Auscultation: Systolic click or clicks at a variable time (usually mid-systolic) may be the only abnormality audible, but a click is not always audible; systolic
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