Mitral Valve Prolapse: Overview, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

What is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral valve prolapse is a very common heart valve abnormality. It is also known as “click murmur syndrome” and “Barlow’s syndrome”. Women are more susceptible to this condition than men. A normal mitral valve is composed of two thin leaflets that are located between the heart’s left atrium and left ventricle.

During mitral valve prolapse, as the heart muscles contract during each beat, the lids (leaflets) of the heart’s mitral valve bump (prolapse) like a parachute into the heart’s left upper chamber (left atrium). 

Click-murmur syndrome is yet another term for mitral valve prolapses. When a physician uses a stethoscope to listen to your heart, they may hear a clicking sound as the valve leaflets droop back, preceded by a whooshing sound (murmur) as blood flows back into the atrium.

What causes Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral prolapses occur when the mitral valve tissues are abnormally large or damaged, causing the valve to slip backwards. The mitral valve prolapse causes are unknown in the majority of cases.

Prolapse of the mitral valve can run in families. Conditions that cause aberrant cartilage might also cause it.

Mitral valve prolapse is more prevalent in women between 20 and 40, but it can also affect men. Although the exact mitral valve prolapses cause is unknown, it has a strong hereditary tendency. Family members who are affected are typically tall, thin, and have long arms and fingers, as well as straight backs.   

What are the symptoms of Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Mitral valve prolapse is a lifelong health condition that may be asymptomatic. However, when blood leaks backwards, you can experience mitral valve prolapse symptoms due to mitral valve regurgitation. The signs can be different and show up over a long time. They might be

  • Chest Pain: The most common symptom is chest pain. Although chest pain is annoying and frightening, it does not significantly raise the risk of a heart attack, death, or other heart problems.
  • Palpitations: Palpitations are heartbeat manifestations that are fast or irregular. It is usually harmless in people with mitral valve prolapse. Palpitations may be caused by potentially severe heart rhythm abnormalities that require further diagnosis and management.
  • Anxiety, Depression, and Panic Attacks: Mitral valve prolapse has been linked to anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. These symptoms, like fatigue, are thought to be connected to autonomic nervous system imbalances.
  • Fatigue: Although the cause of fatigue is unknown, it is the most common symptom of mitral valve prolapse. In people with mitral valve prolapse, the autonomic nervous system, which controls heart rate and breathing, gets disrupted. These imbalances may result in insufficient blood oxygen transfer to the working muscles, resulting in fatigue.
  • Pulmonary oedema: Pulmonary oedema occurs when fluid from the lungs’ blood vessels leaks into the lung tissue, causing swelling.
  • Migraine Headaches: Mitral valve prolapse has been linked to migraine headaches. Migraines are most likely caused by a malfunction in the nervous system’s control of blood vessel tension in the brain.

What are the Complications associated with Mitral Valve Prolapses?

Even though most people with mitral prolapses have no problems, complications can occur. Mitral valve regurgitation is one of them. The most common complication is when the valve leaks blood back into the left atrium. Mitral valve regurgitation is more likely if you’re a man or have high blood pressure. To avoid heart failure, you may need surgery to repair or replace the valve if regurgitation is severe.

1. Problems with heart rhythm (arrhythmias)

Irregular heart rhythms are most common in the heart’s upper chambers. They can be inconvenient, but they are rarely life-threatening. Those with severe mitral valve regurgitation or deformity are at a greater risk of developing rhythm problems, which can impair blood flow through the heart.

2. Infection of the heart valves (endocarditis)

The endocardium is a thin lining on the inner side of the heart chambers. An abnormal mitral valve increases the risk of bacterial infection in the inner lining of the heart, which further damages the mitral valve.

What are the diagnosis methods for Mitral Valve Prolapse?

Before determining a diagnosis, your doctor will usually do several tests to understand more about your heart.

Most of the time, your doctor will first notice Mitral Valve Prolapse when they detect a heart murmur or other abnormal sound with a stethoscope. 

Other tests used to diagnose Mitral Valve Prolapse include:

  • Echocardiography
  • Transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is a type of echocardiography that uses sound waves
  • Catheterization of the Heart (Cardiac Cath or angiogram)
  • Scans for radionuclides
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) 

What are the treatment options for Mitral Valve Prolapse?   

Most people have no mitral valve prolapse symptoms, so treatment is rarely required. But if you have noticeable symptoms, your doctor may decide to treat you.

Medications are often used as part of the treatment to help relieve symptoms. Some of the drugs your doctor might give you are:

  • Aspirin to prevent clots
  • Beta-blockers to regulate heartbeat and blood flow
  • Anti-clotting drugs
  • Vasodilators to increase blood flow

Surgery is done for severe regurgitation or heart failure. If the valve is not repaired, it is replaced with a mechanical or biological valve manufactured from cow, pig, or human tissue. Before the treatment, your doctor will review the advantages and disadvantages of both valves.

What is the best preventive measure for mitral valve prolapse?

Mitral regurgitation can cause heart failure, enlargement, and abnormal rhythms in patients with mitral valve prolapse. This is why patients with mitral valve prolapse and regurgitation are recommended to get frequently evaluated on an annual basis. 

Most people who suffer from mitral valve prolapse have a good prognosis and do not require mitral valve prolapse treatment. Routine examinations, including echocardiograms every few years, are the best preventive measure for people dealing with mitral valve prolapse. 

Get your generic and branded medicines for heart by uploading your prescription on Truemeds and avail yourself of a free teleconsultation from our expert doctors on our online pharmacy – Truemeds. You can also download our Truemeds app. Also, save up to 72% on your medicine purchase by choosing the best substitutes recommended by our expert team of doctors.

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is true to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend you consult your cardiologist before taking any medication mentioned in this article.







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *