What Are the Symptoms of a Leaking Mitral Valve?

The symptoms of a leaking mitral valve include fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid breathing, rapid heartbeat and light-headedness, notes MedlinePlus. A leaking mitral valve may also cause coughing and excessive night urination.

In patients who have a leaking mitral valve, or mitral regurgitation, the mitral valve on the heart's left side does not close as it should, resulting in a backward flow of blood into the atrium, explains MedlinePlus. The backward blood flow disrupts the flow of the blood to other body parts. In response to this condition, the heart may increase its pumping power, resulting in congestive heart failure.

The symptoms of a leaking mitral valve may be sudden or gradual, notes MedlinePlus. Sudden symptoms may occur when a heart attack damages the muscles surrounding the mitral valve or when an infection damages the valve. When the cords securing the muscle to the mitral valve break, patients may also experience sudden symptoms. However, the development of leaking mitral valve symptoms is usually a gradual process.

When the symptoms of a leaking mitral valve appear, doctors may prescribe drugs such as anticoagulants, diuretics and calcium channel blockers, according to MedlinePlus. If the symptoms worsen, a surgical replacement or repair of the mitral valve may be necessary.