Diagnosis

Most patients with mitral regurgitation remain asymptomatic for long periods of time. The most common presenting signs and symptoms include fatigue, decreased exercise capacity, shortness of breath, and palpitations or supra-ventricular arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation. Auscultatory examination usually reveals a high-pitched systolic murmur radiating from the apex to the axilla. A holosytolic murmur suggests prolapse simultaneous with ejection typical of chordal rupture, whereas a murmur beginning in mid- or late systole favors billowing or chordal elongation. Radiographic findings may include left atrial and ventricular dilatation and prominent pulmonary vasculature in patients with long standing severe mitral regurgitation. The electrocardiogram may be normal, or show evidence of left atrial enlargement or atrial fibrillation.

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