Signs and symptoms of mitral valve regurgitation, which depend on its severity and how quickly the condition develops, can include:
- Blood flowing turbulently through your heart (heart murmur)
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea), especially with exertion or when you lie down
- Fatigue, especially during times of increased activity
- Cough, especially at night or when lying down
- Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat
- Swollen feet or ankles
Mitral regurgitation is often mild and progresses slowly. You may have no symptoms for decades and be unaware that you have this condition, and it might not progress.
Your doctor might first suspect you have mitral regurgitation upon detecting a heart murmur. Sometimes, however, the problem develops quickly, and you may experience a sudden onset of severe signs and symptoms.
When to see a doctor
If you develop symptoms that suggest mitral valve regurgitation or another problem with your heart, see your doctor right away. Sometimes the first indications are actually those of mitral valve regurgitation's complications, including heart failure, a condition in which your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.