Although most people with mitral valve prolapse never have problems, complications can occur. They may include:

  • Mitral valve regurgitation. The most common complication is a condition in which the valve leaks blood back into the left atrium (mitral valve regurgitation).

    Being male or having high blood pressure increases your risk of mitral valve regurgitation. If the regurgitation is severe, you may need surgery to repair or replace the valve in order to prevent the development of complications, such as stroke.

  • Heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias). Irregular heart rhythms can occur in people with mitral valve prolapse. These most commonly occur in the upper chambers of the heart, and while they may be bothersome, they aren't usually life-threatening.

    People with severe mitral valve regurgitation or severe deformity of their mitral valve are most at risk of having serious rhythm problems, which affect blood flow through the heart.

  • Heart valve infection (endocarditis). The inside of your heart contains four chambers and four valves lined by a thin membrane called the endocardium. Endocarditis is an infection of this inner lining.

    An abnormal mitral valve increases your chance of getting endocarditis from bacteria, which can further damage the mitral valve. The risk is higher in older men.

    Doctors used to recommend that some people with mitral valve prolapse take antibiotics before certain dental or medical procedures to prevent endocarditis but not anymore.

    The American Heart Association advises that antibiotics aren't necessary in most cases for someone with mitral valve regurgitation or mitral valve prolapse.

Apr. 05, 2014

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