Mitral valve prolapse

Alternative Names

Barlow syndrome; Floppy mitral valve; Myxomatous mitral valve; Billowing mitral valve; Systolic click-murmur syndrome; Prolapsing mitral leaflet syndrome

Definition of Mitral valve prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is a heart problem in which the valve that separates the upper and lower chambers of the left side of the heart does not close properly.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

The mitral valve helps blood on the left side of the heart flow in one direction. It closes to keep blood from moving backwards when the heart beats (contracts).

Symptoms

Many patients with mitral valve prolapse do not have symptoms. The group of symptoms found in patients with mitral valve prolapse is called “mitral valve prolapse syndrome” and includes:

Signs and tests

The doctor will perform a physical exam and use a stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs. The doctor may feel a thrill (vibration) over the heart, and hear a heart murmur (“midsystolic click”). The murmur gets louder when you stand up.

Treatment

Most of the time, there are no (or few) symptoms, and treatment is not needed.

Expectations (prognosis)

Mitral valve prolapse should not negatively affect your lifestyle. If the leaky valve becomes severe, your outlook may be similar to that of people who have mitral regurgitation from any other cause.

Review

Issam Mikati, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/4/2010

Heart, section through the middle
Mitral valve prolapse
Heart valve surgery - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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