Mitral Valve Prolapse
The normal heart has four chambers. The two top chambers receive blood from the body and lungs. These chambers are called the atria. The two bottom chambers pump blood to the body and lungs. These are called the ventricles. The atria and ventricles are separated on each side by a valve, on the right side the tricuspid valve and on the left side the mitral valve.
Mitral Valve Prolapse
When the mitral valve does not close as it should, it is called a mitral valve prolapse. As many as 10% of all people have some minor form of mitral valve prolapse. In some cases, some of the blood that was supposed to go into the left ventricle flows backwards into the left atrium. This is called regurgitation or insufficiency. It can cause the left atrium to enlarge.
In most people with mitral valve prolapse, there is no known cause. In some people it is inherited. It is seen with certain diseases, such as Marfan syndrome.
Signs and Symptoms
Most often there are no symptoms. It is often found when a health provider listens with a stethoscope and hears an extra heart sound.
A member of the health care team will do a complete exam and a health history.
An ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) may be done to find out the amount of prolapse and to see if there is any leakage (regurgitation).
Most of the time, no treatment is needed.
Your child should continue to get check-ups with the regular health care provider. We may suggest that your child return to the Pediatric Cardiology clinic at times. These visits may only occur every year or two.
Most children with mitral valve prolapse need no restrictions. They should keep on leading healthy, normal lives. They do not need antibiotics before the dentist.
Who Do I Call With Questions?
Your child’s doctor or nurse or our clinic staff can answer any questions.
Pediatric Cardiology (608) 263-6420.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/18/2012
Copyright © 05/18/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6857
Print Health Fact For You