Secondary mitral regurgitation: pathophysiology, proportionality and prognosis

Heart. 2020 May;106(10):716-723. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2019-316238. Epub 2020 Feb 13.


Secondary mitral regurgitation (SMR) occurs as a result of multifactorial left atrioventricular dysfunction and maleficent remodelling. It is the most common and undertreated form of mitral regurgitation (MR) and is associated with a very poor prognosis. Whether SMR is a bystander reflecting the severity of the cardiomyopathy disease process has long been the subject of debate. Studies suggest that SMR is an independent driver of prognosis in patients with an intermediate heart failure (HF) phenotype and not those with advanced HF. There is also no universal agreement regarding the quantitative thresholds defining severe SMR and indeed there are challenges with echocardiographic quantification. Until recently, no surgical or transcatheter intervention for SMR had demonstrated prognostic benefit, in contrast with HF medical therapy and cardiac resynchronisation therapy. In 2018, the first two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of edge-to-edge transcatheter mitral valve repair versus guideline-directed medical therapy in HF (Percutaneous Repair with the MitraClip Device for Severe (MITRA-FR), Transcather mitral valve repair in patients with heart failure (COAPT)) reported contrasting yet complimentary results. Unlike in MITRA-FR, COAPT demonstrated significant prognostic benefit, largely attributed to the selection of patients with disproportionately severe MR relative to their HF phenotype. Consequently, quantifying the degree of SMR in relation to left ventricular volume may be a useful discriminator in predicting the success of transcatheter intervention. The challenge going forward is the identification and validation of such parameters while in parallel maintaining a heart-team guided holistic approach.

Keywords: functional mitral regurgitation; heart failure; mitral regurgitation; secondary mitral regurgitation; systolic left ventricular dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiomyopathies* / complications
  • Cardiomyopathies* / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure* / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mitral Valve Annuloplasty / methods
  • Mitral Valve Annuloplasty / trends
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency* / diagnosis
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency* / etiology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency* / physiopathology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency* / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Remodeling