Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the mitral valve bulges back into the left atrium when the left ventricle contracts. The condition is diagnosed based on the characteristic murmur heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. Other tests are used to confirm the diagnosis. The prognosis for someone with mitral valve prolapse is generally excellent, and activities usually do not need to be limited.

What Is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral valve prolapse is a common condition in which the mitral valve in the heart bulges back into the atrium when the left ventricle contracts. The condition is found in about 4 percent of the general population. It is also called "floppy mitral valve" or "click murmur syndrome."
 

Understanding the Mitral Valve Anatomy

The mitral valve separates the left atrium in the heart from the left ventricle. When the left ventricle contracts, the mitral valve normally closes to prevent blood from going back into the left atrium. With mitral valve prolapse, the valve still closes properly. But as the blood is pumped out of the left ventricle, the mitral valve leaflets abruptly bulge back into the atrium. Most often, mitral valve prolapse causes a characteristic clicking sound (when heard through a stethoscope), but no blood goes back into the atrium. In more severe cases, blood goes back into the atrium (mitral valve regurgitation). This can result in certain complications.
 

Diagnosing Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is diagnosed based on the characteristic heart murmur heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. An electrocardiogram (EKG) and echocardiogram are usually used to confirm the diagnosis.
 

What Is the Prognosis With Mitral Valve Prolapse?

The prognosis for someone with mitral valve prolapse is generally excellent, and activities usually do not need to be limited. In some cases, however, the doctor may recommend activity limitations.
 
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Information on Mitral Valve Prolapse

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