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Can Mitral Valve Prolapse Cause Death?

Mitral valve prolapse is a condition associated with heart and may lead to fatal consequences. [1]The strategy for these patients is early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Can Mitral Valve Prolapse Cause Death?

Can Mitral Valve Prolapse Cause Death?

Mitral valve prolapse is not regarded as a serious and life-threatening condition in most of the patients. Many patients either experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. However, the disease at cause serious and fatal consequences in some patients and treatment is necessary for such patients. Following are the complications associated with mitral valve prolapse:

Atrial Fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a life-threatening condition and prolapse of the mitral valve is one of its reasons. As the mitral valve is not able to close the opening between the left auricle and ventricle, the blood flows back into the auricle leading to expansion of left atrium. This prolonged process may lead to abnormal heart rhythm leading to atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is also accompanied by thromboembolism.[2]

Mitral Valve Regurgitation. Mitral valve regurgitation is one of the common features of mitral valve prolapse, when the blood flows back due to the abnormal mitral valve, a murmuring sound occurs. This back-flow of blood is known as mitral regurgitation.[3]

Infective Endocarditis. Endocarditis is the condition characterized by the infection in the endocardium. The endocardium is the inner lining of the heart as well as the heart valves. An acute form of this disease is serious condition and may prove to be fatal. Patient with mitral valve prolapse is at higher risk of developing infective endocarditis.[4] Studies suggest that there is a relation between the mitral valve prolapse and infective endocarditis due to viridans group streptococci.

Heart Failure. Heart failure may also occur due to mitral valve prolapse.[5] Mitral valve prolapse develops stress on the heart and heart has to function more to meet the energy requirements of the body. It has been found that prolong mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation leads to weakened heart muscles and causes congestive heart failure.

Pulmonary Hypertension. Severe mitral valve prolapse also leads to pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension further complicates the mitral relapse due to both systolic and diastolic dysfunction. Chronic regurgitation initially leads to compensatory left auricle and left ventricle dilation, but later on, leads to systolic and diastolic dysfunction.[6]

Thus, mitral valve prolapse, if not diagnosed early and appropriately treated may lead to death as the complications caused due to mitral valve prolapse and mitral regurgitation, especially in the long run leads to life-threatening complications.

Mitral Valve Prolapse Symptoms

Mitral valve prolapse may lead to a backflow of the blood into the atrium. This leads to reduced blood flow in the body as well as other cardiovascular symptoms. Following are the symptoms that are experienced by the patient suffering from mitral valve prolapse.

Murmur Sound. As the blood flows back into the auricle from the ventricle, there is a murmuring sound experienced this murmur sound id due to mitral regurgitation.

Shortness Of Breath. Mitral valve prolapse leads to reduced blood flow from the heart to the body parts. This results in reduced oxygen concentration which causes shortness of breath.

Fatigue And Tiredness. As the blood flow is reduced, the nutrients are not transported to the organs effectively lead to energy depletion. Further, the waste metabolites also start accumulating in the tissues leading to fatigue and weakness.

Rapid Heart Rate. Heart has to work fast to comply with the requirements of the body. This results in increased heart rate.

Swollen Ankles. Swollen ankles are also the symptoms of mitral valve prolapse due to reduced circulation of blood.

Fainting. As the blood supply reduces in the brain, the patient may feel faint.

Numbness. The nervous system is also affected by reduction in blood flow and patient experience numbness.[7]


Mitral valve prolapse, in certain instances, causes death. The complication associated with mitral valve prolapse includes atrial fibrillation, infective endocarditis, pulmonary hypertension, and heart failure.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 22, 2023

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