When your heart is working properly, the mitral valve closes completely during contraction of the left ventricle and prevents blood from flowing back into your heart's upper left chamber (left atrium).
But in some people with mitral valve prolapse, one or both of the mitral valve's flaps (leaflets) have extra tissue bulging (prolapsing) like a parachute into the left atrium each time the heart contracts.
The bulging may keep the valve from closing tightly. When blood leaks backward through the valve, it's called mitral valve regurgitation.
This may not cause problems if only a small amount of blood leaks back into the atrium. More severe mitral valve regurgitation can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue or lightheadedness.
Another name for mitral valve prolapse is click-murmur syndrome. When a doctor listens to your heart using a stethoscope, he or she may hear a clicking sound as the valve's leaflets billow out, followed by a murmur resulting from blood flowing back into the atrium. Other names to describe mitral valve prolapse include:
April 05, 2014
- Barlow's syndrome
- Floppy valve syndrome
- Balloon mitral valve
- Billowing mitral valve
- Myxomatous mitral valve
- Prolapsing mitral valve syndrome
- Pislaru S, et al. Definition and diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- What is mitral valve prolapse? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/mvp/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- Problem: Mitral valve prolapse. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/HeartValveProblemsandDisease/Problem-Mitral-Valve-Prolapse_UCM_450441_Article.jsp. Accessed Nov. 11, 2013.
- Pislaru S, et al. Nonarrhythmic complications of mitral valve prolapse. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- Wilson W, et al. Prevention of infective endocarditis: Guidelines from the American Heart Association. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2008;139:3S.
- Sorrentino MJ. Arrhythmic complications of mitral valve prolapse. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- What is transesophogeal echocardiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/tee/. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- What is an electrocardiogram? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg/. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Nishimura RA, et al. ACC/AHA 2008 Guideline update on valvular heart disease: Focused update on infective endocarditis. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2008;52:676.
- Guy TS, et al. Mitral valve prolapse. Annual Review of Medicine. 2012;63:277.
- What is coronary angiography? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ca/. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Stewart WK, et al. Mitral valve prolapse. First Consult. http://www.clinicalkey.com/. Accessed Nov. 7, 2013.
- Grogan M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 9, 2013.
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