Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a disease of the heart, where the mitral valve that is present between both the left compartments of the heart- the left auricle and the left ventricle - prolapses in the left auricle, thereby resulting in a clicking sound and a reverse flow of blood, which is known as regurgitation. Though most people with this condition do not require any treatment, it is best to monitor the affected person as symptoms can start suddenly and condition can worsen rapidly. The treatment usually depends upon severity of the condition.

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Is Mitral Valve Prolapse Common?

Mitral valve prolapse is rare in children aged below 13 years of age. However, it is very common in people aged 14 to 60 plus years of age. Mitral valve prolapse is the commonest cause of mitral valve regurgitation in most cases.

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Causes of mitral valve prolapse-

  • Mitral valve prolapse is usually caused due to over-stretchiness of the leaflets of the valve
  • However, what makes these leaflets to get abnormally stretchy is still unknown
  • Most people affected by this disease are born with it
  • Also, this condition is known to run in families
  • Some other health conditions like some connective tissue disorders may also be responsible for causing this disease

Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse-

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  • You may not experience any signs or symptoms for years if you do not suffer from a severe condition
  • The symptoms rather depend upon the severity of your disease and how rapidly it develops and progresses
  • There might be an abnormal sound heard, that is called as a heart murmur, during auscultation
  • There may be a breathing difficulty known as dyspnoea, which can be particularly evident after an exertion or when you are lying down
  • There may be excessive tiredness or fatigue
  • There may be a sensation of a rapid or a fluttering heartbeat
  • There may be lightheadedness or giddiness experienced by some
  • There may be a chest pain or chest discomfort
  • The symptoms of this condition may also be triggered by other conditions like stress, pregnancy or an infection. They may also appear or worsen after an exertion or after a work out

Your doctor may find certain signs on auscultation during physical examination, which might be indicative of a heart problem. These may include-

  • An abnormal heart sound on auscultation
  • Lungs sounding of a fluid build- up
  • Arrhythmias or irregular heart-beats

Treatment Of Mitral Valve Prolapse

Most of the people suffering from mitral valve prolapse do not need any treatment at all. You may get diagnosed with mitral valve prolapse without even getting any symptoms for it. In fact, it may come as a surprise to you. In such a case, your doctor will keep you on a watchful waiting period, wherein he will monitor you and evaluate your condition at certain intervals. He may prescribe certain medications for you during this period, which may ease your symptoms, if you have any.

In case you are having any mild to moderate symptoms, your doctor will prescribe certain medications. The entire focus of the treatment is to improve your symptoms, stabilize the condition of your heart and improve it and avoid any future complications.

The treatment will be individually tailored, considering the severity of the symptoms and the speed of the progress of the disease. The medications that may be recommended by your doctor may include anti- hypertensives, anti- coagulants, anti-arrhythmics, beta- blockers, etc. among others.

For those with sever symptoms or those who do not respond to medicines well, the doctor may recommend a surgery, which will either repair the mitral valve or replace it, as per the need of the person. Though, surgery is not needed in most cases, it still remains an option.

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a condition that affects the mitral valve of the heart. It is a very common condition when heart diseases are considered, and its exact cause is still unknown.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 22, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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