Mitral Valve Prolapse

General Illness Information

Medical Term: Mitral valve prolapse.

Common Name: None Specified

Description: Bulging of one or both leaflets of the mitral valve (valve between the left ventricle and left atrium in the heart) during the contraction phase of the heart cycle. This causes a characteristic heart murmur. This is a common and often benign disorder, and is most frequent in young to middle-aged women.

Unknown in most cases. Occasionally it is inherited (Autosomal dominant type).

Prevention: At this time, there is no prevention known.

Signs & Symptoms

This condition is often an incidental finding in normal persons, without any symptoms. It may be discovered on a routine examination. The following symptoms may or may not be present:

  • Chest pain (sharp, dull or pressing).
  • Fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Dizziness.
  • Lightheadedness when getting up from a chair or bed.
  • Palpitations.

Risk Factors

  • Patients with cardiomyopathy, or coronary artery disease.
  • Also found in subgroups with hyperthyroidism,(Graves’ Disease), hypomastia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, myotonic dystrophy, sickle cell disease, atrial septal defect, Marfans syndrome and rheumatic heart disease.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis is usually made on clinical examination, and confirmed by echocardiography.

General Measures:

  • For most patients, no treatment is necessary. Follow-up may be done every 2-3 years.
  • Rarely, heart valve surgery may be considered in select patients.
  • Some patients with mitral valve prolapse need antibiotic coverage prior to dental or other surgery. Currently, only those patients that have mitral regurgitation are required to have antibiotic coverage prior to surgery. Consult your doctor before undergoing dental and other surgery.


  • Usually no medications are needed.
  • Some symptoms of excess sympathetic tone may require treatment with beta-blockers.


No restrictions usually. However, patients with definite clicks and murmurs should refrain from competitive sports that require maximum effort.


No special diet. Keep fluid intake at normal recommended levels.

Possible Complications :

  • The risk of complications is very low.
  • Mitral regurgitation (blood leaks backward through the valve) can occur if there is rupture of the muscles (chordae) that hold up the mitral valve.
  • Rare complications include: Stroke, Congestive heart failure, and infective endocarditis.


Mitral valve prolapse is usually a benign disorder that does not prevent a normal active life. The prognosis is excellent.


Nothing Specified.

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