Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Child with Mitral Regurgitation
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Child with Mitral Regurgitation

Hello,
My five year old was diagnosed with mitral regurgitation after a heart murmur was detected at an annual physical with her pediatrician.  We went to a pediatric cardiologist who performed an echo and made the diagnosis.  She has MVP with mild regurgitation.  Here is my concern.  Of course, I have been consumed with trying to get information on this disease.  She is 100% asymptomatic.  Is mitral regurgitation extremely rare in kids?  Have you seen patients with this diagnosis that have no symptoms and no other heart defects (we were told no other defects)?  Is this just a congenital defect that was suddenly found?  She has not had rheumatic fever.  My other concern is this disease called Marfans that I keep reading about.  She does not have the long limbs or look that they describe but her bottom teeth are crowded (this may be me just being extremely paranoid).  I am just so worried about her, and was wondering what your experience was with kids and MR.  I just dont want there to be something like Marfans that is an underlying cause that they dr missed.  He is supposed to be extremely thorough and the best around our tri-state area.  He stated that what she has is NOT a cause of sudden death, but some things I am reading states that it may be.What else could be the cause of her just having MR?  My dad has always had a murmur and at 65 had mitral valve repair.  Could it be heriditary?  Thank you so so much for answering my questions.  I am just a worried sick mom.
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Mitral regurgitation and mitral valve prolapse (MVP) can be seen in normal children who are not syndromic. You are correct that it can be seen in patients with syndromes or a history or rheumatic fever, but the echocardiographic appearance of the mitral valve would be different for rheumatic heart disease vs. congenital MVP.  It is less common in children than it is in the adult population.  If the remainder of the heart anatomy is normal and your child has no physical findings of Marfan syndrome, then it is likely just mild mitral valve prolapse that will need intermittent follow up based on the degree of valve leakage.  People with MVP may be more prone to palpitations, but sudden death due to a serious arrhythmia would be extremely rare.  The fact that your child is asymptomatic is the norm.  The fact that your father had a valve problem would be unrelated to this situation.  I encourage you to discuss your concerns with your pediatric cardiologist further, but it sounds like regular follow up is being recommended and that should continue.
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