The mitral valve sits between the left atrium and the left ventricle and helps control the flow of blood from the left atrium into the left ventricle. The mitral valve consists of two flaps called leaflets. Normally, the leaflets open and shut in coordinated fashion to allow blood to flow in one direction from the atrium to the ventricle.
Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is the most common valvular abnormality, affecting approximately 2-6% of the population in the United States.
Causes of Mitral Valve Prolapse:
Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the valve between your heart’s left upper chamber (left atrium) and the left lower chamber (left ventricle) doesn’t close properly. Another name for Mitral Valve Prolapse is Click-Murmur Syndrome.
MVP usually has a benign course, but it occasionally leads to serious complications, including clinically significant mitral regurgitation, infection of endocarditis, sudden cardiac death, and cerebrovascular ischemic events. MVP often occurs in people who have no other heart problems, and the condition may be inherited.
Signs and Symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse:
- Chest discomfort
- Easily tired (fatigue)
- Shortness of breath
- Bursts of rapid heartbeat (palpitations)
Symptoms do not always relate to how serious your MVP is. You may have frequent symptoms, yet diagnostic tests may show your valve leak is not significant. These symptoms may cause you to worry, but they are not dangerous or life threatening, and, may not require treatment at all.
Exams and Tests of Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP):
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 longer and louder when you stand up. Blood pressure is most often normal.
The following tests used to diagnose mitral valve prolapse or a leaky mitral valve:
- Chest x-ray
- MRI of the heart
- CT scan of the chest
- Echocardiogram, ECG
- Cardiac catheterization
Mitral valve prolapse can develop in any person at any age. Serious symptoms of mitral valve prolapse tend to occur most often in men older than 50.
Treatment of Mitral Valve Prolapse:
Most people who have mitral valve prolapse (MVP) don’t need treatment because they don’t have symptoms and complications. Even people who do have symptoms may not need treatment. The presence of symptoms doesn’t always mean that the backflow of blood through the valve is significant. People who have MVP and troublesome mitral valve backflow may be treated with medicines, surgery, or both.
- Relieving symptoms
- Correcting the underlying mitral valve problem, if necessary
- Preventing infective endocarditis, arrhythmias, and other complications
Surgery: Surgery is done only if the mitral valve is very abnormal and blood is flowing back into the atrium. The main goal of surgery is to improve symptoms and reduce the risk of heart failure.
Surgical Approaches: Traditionally, heart surgeons repair or replace a mitral valve by making an incision (cut) in the breastbone and exposing the heart.
Valve Repair and Valve Replacement: In mitral valve surgery, the valve is repaired or replaced. Valve repair is preferred when possible. Repair is less likely than replacement to weaken the heart. Repair also lowers the risk of infection and decreases the need for lifelong use of blood-thinning medicines. If repair isn’t an option, the valve can be replaced. Mechanical and biological valves are used as replacement valves.
Seek counsel from our Cardiology Doctors in Houston if you suspect you are suffering from Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) for the best treatment options for you.
Visit us at: www.advancedcardiodr.com|Call: +1 281-866-7701.