Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the mitral valve, which controls blood flow in the left side of the heart, doesn't close tightly. This happens when the flaps that normally open and close the valve aren't working well.
The majority of people who have mitral valve prolapse are born with it. The condition often runs in families. It usually doesn't cause any problems. Most people are able to live normal lives. But if you have mitral valve prolapse, you have a higher risk of developing endocarditis, an infection of the heart's inner lining.
Complications of Mitral Valve Prolapse
Rarely, a backflow of blood (regurgitation) occurs when blood leaks the wrong way through the mitral valve back to the upper chamber of the heart (left atrium). Symptoms of regurgitation include the following:
Treatment for Mitral Valve Prolapse at Rush
Heart specialists at Rush diagnose mitral valve prolapse with a test called echocardiography, which makes diagnosis more precise than it was in the past. Physicians use the test to detect mitral valve prolapse and identify regurgitation.
If your mitral valve prolapse is severe and requires treatment, specialists at Rush will create a personalized treatment plan, which may include medication, a procedure or both.
- The following medications may be used:
- Vasodilators, a class of medications that reduce the stress on your heart
- Medications to regulate heart rhythms
- If repair of your leaking valve is necessary, interventional cardiologists at Rush are leaders in a technique that involves placing a small clip on the mitral valve to reduce the amount of valve leakage
- If surgical repair of your valve is necessary, Rush has cardiovascular surgeons who are leaders in the technique of mitral valve repair
Rush Excellence in Mitral Valve Prolapse Care
- Latest treatments available: Rush experts in structural heart disease offer the most advanced diagnostic and treatment services available for patients with valve disease, including mitral valve prolapse.
- Access to clinical trials: Mitral valve prolapse specialists at Rush are leaders in clinical trials, so they may able to offer you innovative new treatments before they are widely available.
- Among the best in the U.S.: U.S. News & World Report ranked Rush University Medical Center among the best in the nation for cardiology.