Mitral Valve Prolapse / Mitral Valve Regurgitation
What Is the Mitral Valve?
The mitral valve facilitates blood flow between the upper chambers of the
heart and the lower chambers of the heart on the left side—in other
words, the left atrium and the left ventricle. Problems with the mitral
valve can be serious. This page covers two conditions that affect the
mitral valve: Mitral valve prolapse and mitral valve regurgitation.
Mitral Valve Prolapse
When the two flaps that make up the mitral valve does not close properly,
but rather bulge or “prolapse” in an upward direction toward
the upper left chamber of the heart, this is known as mitral valve prolapse.
Mitral valve prolapse—also known as “click murmur syndrome”
or “floppy valve syndrome”—can affect anyone at any
age. Some are genetically predisposed to this condition, and may be born
with it. Others may develop mitral valve prolapse in connection with some
disorders such as certain connective tissue diseases. Only about 2% of
people have this condition. In most cases, treatment / surgery is not
required, as mitral valve prolapse can be harmless. However, some patients
may need medication and / or surgery. Talk to your doctor at Washington
Township Medical Foundation in Fremont.
Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse include:
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heart beats
- Heart palpitations
Mitral Valve Regurgitation
When the mitral valve fails to close tightly, this can cause the blood
to flow backward into the heart every time that the lower left chamber
or left “ventricle” contracts. This can cause increased blood
volume / pressure in the affected area and can lead to congestion in the
lungs. A severe case of mitral valve regurgitation may present symptoms
such as heart palpitations, particularly when the individual is resting
on his / her left side, or even coughing, congestion, swelling in the
legs and feet, and shortness of breath during exercise.