I am currently 21 years old. I was diagnosed to be having anterior leaflet MVP this year after a collapse during one of a military exercise. I had my echocardiogram diagnostic tests done. The doctor told me that i have a leaky valve with a LVEF of 60%.
I was then refered to a cardio specialist and am waiting for the appointment. I would like to ask what does leaky valve means and will I have to be operated?
Only a very small percentage of people with mitral valve prolapse have "leakiness" or what we call mitral regurgitation. This means that some of your blood flow goes backwards from the left ventricle back into the left atrium. If you do have regurgitation there are definitely different grades of regurgitation (mild, moderate, moderate-severe and severe). It is not until the regurgitation is severe and you have symptoms that we consider fixing the valve. Or if your LVEF decreases to < 60% or your heart gets large then we would consider fixing it, if it was severe, even if you did not have any symptoms. Usually this can take years to develop severe mitral regurgitation. It would be very, very rare at the age of 21 to have severe mitral regurgitation.
Thanks, it certainly helps. I have one more question, I understand that palpitations are normal and in general, it does not cause harm.
In recent months, I have been feeling at times, a shortness of breath. I can be walking, or just climbing few storeys of staircase (I have no problem in the past), and occasionally, I could not breathe well sleeping and have to sit up on my bed to feel better breathing.
Does shortness of breath as normal as the palpitations and that it causes no harm?
If you valve is very leaky then these would be common symptoms to go along with a leaky valve Because I don't know how leaky for valve is, I can't comment but if your valve has only mild to moderate regurgitation, you should not have symptoms like this. The symptoms of feeling better when you sit up can definitely be due to a leaky valve. I think it is good that you are seeing a Cardiologist soon.
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