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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-17

Dynamic ischaemic mitral regurgitation and the role of stress echocardiography

Department of Cardiology, University Hospital, CHU Sart Tilman, Liège, Belgium

Correspondence Address:
Luc A Pierard
University of Liège, CHU Sart Tilman, Liège, 4000
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Source of Support: This study was funded in part by research grant from CIHR (MOP# 114997)., Conflict of Interest: The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

DOI: 10.4103/2211-4122.117979

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Objective: This paper aims to explain the main mechanisms that cause ischaemic mitral regurgitation (MR), the pathophysiology, and the role played by stress echocardiography in the evaluation of the dynamic component of MR. Introduction: Chronic ischaemic MR is a frequent complication of myocardial infarction (MI), and is associated with a poor prognosis and outcome. The more the severity of ischaemic MR, the lower is the survival rate. In recent times, improvements in the management of the acute phase of MI, has increased the survival rate after MI. This, combined with an increase in the incidence of MI, will probably lead to a higher prevalence of ischemic MR in the next decades. As a consequence, ischaemic MR should be thoroughly understood and promptly identified. Furthermore, it is well recognized that ischaemic MR is dynamic. The best way to explore the dynamic nature of ischaemic MR is exercise stress echocardiography, and this test should probably be integrated in the evaluation and the management of patients with chronic ischaemic MR. Conclusion: Based on our experience, exercise stress echocardiography might be of interest in the following subsets of patients: 1) in patients with left ventricular (LV) dysfunction who present exertional dyspnea out of proportion to the severity of resting LV dysfunction or MR severity, 2) in patients in whom acute pulmonary oedema occurs without any obvious cause; 3) to unmask patients at high risk of mortality and heart failure 4) before surgical revascularization in patients with moderate ischaemic MR and, 5) following surgery, to identify persistence of pulmonary hypertension and explain the absence of functional class improvement.

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