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Other Names:
Floppy Mitral Valve, Myxomatous Mitral Valve, Prolapsing Mitral Leaflet Syndrome
Mitral Valve Prolapse

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Definition

Mitral valve prolapse is a disorder in which the mitral valve bulges out and does not close completely.

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Causes

  • Hereditary
  • Marfan's syndrome
  • Grave's disease
  • Thin women with minor chest wall deformities like scoliosis or other skeletal disorders.
  • Atrial septal defect.

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Symptoms

  • Palpitations
  • Rapid, irregular heart beat.
  • Chest pain not related to coronary artery disease or a heart attack
  • Difficulty breathing after a strenuous activity or when lying down flat.
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Fainting spells

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Implications

People with prolapsed mitral valve develop regurgitation of the blood back in to the left atrium. There is and increased risk of developing infective endocarditis and atrial fibrillation. These are life threatening conditions and death from these diseases is not uncommon.

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What You Can Do

  • Medications
    • Antibiotics are prescribed if bacterial infection is present or if dental work is planned.
    • Anti-arrhythmics may be used to control irregular heart rhythms.
    • Vasodilators reduce the workload of the heart to pump blood by opening up the blood vessels.
    • Digitalis may be used to strengthen the heart muscle
    • Diuretics or water pills may be used to remove excess fluid in the lungs.
    • Propranolol to reduce palpitations or chest pain.
    • Anticoagulants may be used to prevent clot formation.
  • Surgery
    • Surgical repair of the mitral valve or mitral valve replacement may be required if severe mitral regurgitation develops.
  • Prevention
    • Prophylactic antibiotic must be done before any dental workup or any other invasive procedure where there is danger to introduce bacteria in the blood stream.

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Mitral Valve Prolapse