The scarcity of treatment options available for heart failure patients with functional mitral regurgitation ("FMR") underscores the importance of novel therapeutic developments.
The most common management strategy for heart failure patients with FMR is to optimize medical management. ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers and diuretics certainly improve the condition of these patients, but they remain symptomatic with a prognosis that worsens with progressively severe grades of FMR.
Surgical data, obtained primarily from those patients who received an annuloplasty ring during revascularization surgery, suggests there is clinical benefit to treating FMR. Unfortunately, the morbidity and mortality associated with surgery has precluded this approach from gaining widespread acceptance.
Cardiac resynchronization therapy has also been shown to occasionally reduce FMR and corresponding symptom improvement. However, it is only indicated for patients with concomitant electrical dyssynchrony, which accounts for less than a third of all heart failure patients.