Full and proper functioning of the mitral valve involves all of the following anatomical parts (referred to as the mitral valve complex); this is similar for the tricuspid valve: leaflets/cusps, annulus, left atrium, chordae tendineae, two papillary muscles and left ventricular free (posterior) wall.
Any disease affecting the mitral valve complex will lead to poor coaptation of the valve cusps and thus incompetence (insufficiency), with regurgitation of blood into the left atrium from the ventricle. Mitral regurgitation itself will lead to left atrial dilation and widening of the valve annulus; thus 'mitral regurgitation begets mitral regurgitation' (Edwards & Burchell,1958).

Diseases affecting the mitral valve complex

Diseases of the tricuspid valve complex


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