Does Mitral Valve Prolapse Cause Palpitations?

Usually, mitral valve prolapse does not produce any symptoms. As the condition worsens, the symptoms can appear in the form of chest pain, palpitation fatigue, dizziness, etc. The chest pain can be frightening but does not put you at increased risk of heart attack, or other heart problems.

Advertisement

The mitral valve prolapse is characterized by backward flow of blood through mitral valve with each heartbeat. The leaflets of the mitral valve bulge (prolapse) into the heart's atrium i.e. the left upper chamber, the valve will bulge out in the atrium like a balloon with each heartbeat. The condition is usually asymptomatic and the patients continue to have impaired blood flow. The continuous impaired flow causes the heart muscles to become weak resulting in congestive heart failure due to moderate to severe mitral regurgitation. The symptoms of congestive failure can be seen in the form of shortness of breath even on mild exertion and swelling in the legs and feet. Difficulty in breathing can be seen even at rest.

Advertisement

As there is impaired flow due to incomplete closure of the mitral valve, with each heartbeat, the heart has to put extra efforts for pumping of blood. There will be fluttering or rapid heartbeat called palpitations. The palpitations are not a serious condition, the fast and irregular heartbeats are usually harmless. Only in severe cases, these palpitations end in severe arrhythmias.

It is also common for people to experience passing out or fainting, numbness and tingling sensation in the hands and feet. The duration and intensity of the symptoms may vary from one individual to other. The symptoms start gradually and tend to progress gradually to become symptomatic. All these symptoms are together referred to as mitral valve prolapse syndrome. The symptoms cannot be related to being from only mitral valve prolapse.

Advertisement

It is not a life-threatening condition and usually goes unnoticed hence does not require any treatment or lifestyle changes. However, if the patients develop symptoms, then the cardiologist may advise for diagnostic tests to identify the cause of the disease. Mitral valve prolapse cannot be treated with medications; the treatment option is either repair or replacement of the valve in severe conditions.

These symptoms require careful monitoring and when turns worst your cardiologist will advise you for repair or replacement.

The mitral valve is a valve present in the heart between the left atrium and left ventricle, which allows smooth flow of blood from one chamber of the heart, to another. There can be damage to the mitral valve resulting in incomplete closing or contraction of the valve resulting in leaky valve.

In mitral valve prolapse, a part of the mitral flap slips back into the left atrium when the heart muscles contracts. Mitral valve prolapsed and Mitral valve stenosis sounds to be similar. Mitral valve stenosis is characterized by stiffening and constriction of the mitral valve causing faulty functioning of the valve whereas, in mitral valve prolapse, the valve bulges in the backward direction because of the size or damage to the mitral valve tissues.

The exact reason for Mitral valve prolapse is not known, but there is hereditary evidence for the same. In certain cases, patients suffering from connective tissue disorders such as abnormal cartilage can also result in mitral valve prolapse. Mitral regurgitation is one of the major causes of mitral valve prolapse. As per statistics, there are more than 8 million people in the United States who have mitral valve prolapse.

Conclusion

It is common for people with mitral valve prolapse to feel skipping of the heartbeat, fluttering, the heartbeat is either too hard or too fast, which also causes shortness of breath. The palpitations are caused because of impaired blood flow in the heart chambers increasing the workload on the heart forcing it to function harder. There is the only symptomatic treatment for palpitation.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 2, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Advertisement

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest