Heart Disease : Mitral Valve Prolapse : Symptoms

Definition
Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is a relatively common problem. The cause is unknown but genetically determined collagen disorder may be responsible for it. If signs and symptoms arise it is due to leakage of blood through the valve. An echocardiogram is confirmatory of the diagnosis. MVP is not life-threatening in most of the cases and may not require treatment.

Alternate Names - Barlow’s Syndrome, Floppy Valve Syndrome and Ballooning Mitral Valve Syndrome.
The mitral valve controls the flow of blood between two chambers of the heart called the left atrium and the left ventricle. Blood flow has to occur only in one direction (from the atrium to the ventricle). In mitral valve prolapse (MVP) the valve fails to close properly. The flaps of this valve bulge (prolapse) upward or back into the atrium during contraction of the ventricle. This may lead to leakage of blood backward into the left atrium.

Symptoms
In spite of being a lifelong disorder most people never have symptoms. If signs and symptoms arise it is due to leakage of blood through the valve.

(1) A racing or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)

(2) Dizziness or lightheadedness

(3) Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

(4) Fatigue

(5) Chest pain

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