Does Mitral Valve Prolapse Get Worse Over Time?

Mitral valve prolapse is a disorder of the two flaps of the mitral valve which do not close properly while the blood flow from left atrium to left ventricle, instead they bulge, upwards over the left atrium. This leads to some clinical symptoms and other heart problems which occur as the time passes. However, mitral valve prolapse gets worse over time in very few cases. When the mitral valve prolapse is present in serious condition, it leads to abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias which may be lethal after considerable amount of damage to the heart muscles. Mitral valve prolapse is harmless in maximum number of cases and those who are unaware of this condition inside their hearts also remain unaffected for the whole life, but in some rare cases the treatment becomes extremely important or else the condition becomes lethal.

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The mitral valve prolapse is also known as Floppy valve syndrome, Click-murmur syndrome or Barlow’s Syndrome.

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What Happens In Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral Valve is the valve present between the left atrium and left ventricle through which the blood passes. It contains two flaps which open and close as the blood though them. After the heart pumps the blood both the flaps of the mitral valve closes so as to prevent the backflow of blood upwards. When the valves are prolapsed, they are unable to close properly and there is some leakage of blood in the upward direction which causes murmur sound in the heart.

The major cause of Mitral Valve prolapse is the unusually stretchy valve leaflet, which is also known as Myxomatous valve disease. The mitral valve prolapse occurs in only around 2% of the population and can occur due to a connective tissue disease or the person might be born with it as a genetic problem.

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How Mitral Valve Prolapse Is Detected?

When the mitral valve prolapse is less complicated, the person will not be able to see any symptom for the detection of mitral valve prolapse. However, if sometimes the person feels, palpitation, chest pain and discomfort, mitral valve prolapse can be detected during a routine checkup done by the physician. Doctor will examine the heart with a stethoscope and if there is any murmur sound in the heartbeats it can be detected easily. When any such thing is detected or there is even a slight warning about it, the next action to be taken is to go for Echocardiogram or Echo is recommended. This test uses the ultrasound to evaluate the characteristic of the flaps of the valve and how much blood is being leaking back from the valve when the heart contracts. The physician might recommend other tests also like the angiogram or an MRI depending on the extent of the symptoms and severity of the Mitral valve prolapse. The physician will recommend the further treatment after examining the severity.

It is important to note that even if the problem of mitral valve may be severe, the symptoms are not often visible unless the damage of the heart muscles has already begun and reached up to significant level. Moreover the patients who are suffering from mitral valve prolapse fail to notice and recognize the initial symptoms, which are a clue to the progressing heart disease. By the time it is recognized, the patient might already suffer from complete damage of heart muscles, congestive heart failures or unexpected death.

Luckily there is a long gap between the starting of the mitral valve prolapse and development of clinical symptoms. The simplest way to proper treatment or diagnosis of such problem is regular checkup of the heart and valves by the tests discussed above. Any kind of indication should be immediately discussed with your physician so that it can be corrected on time.

Conclusion

Mitral valve prolapse gets worse over time in very few cases. When the mitral valve prolapse is present in serious condition it leads to abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias, which may be lethal after considerable amount of damage to the heart muscles. The mitral valve prolapse can be detected during a routine checkup done by the physician and may require further tests thereafter.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 5, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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