Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP)
What is mitral valve prolapse?
Mitral valve prolapse (also known as "clickmurmur syndrome" and "Barlow's syndrome") is the most common heart valve abnormality, affecting five to ten percentof the world population. A normal mitral valve consists of two thin leaflets, located between the left atrium and the left ventricleof the heart. Mitral valve leaflets, shaped like parachutes, areattached to the inner wall of the left ventricle by a series ofstrings called "chordae." When the ventricles contract,the mitral valve leaflets close snugly, preventing backflow of blood from the left ventricle into the left atrium. When the ventriclesrelax, the valves open to allow oxygenated blood from the lungsto fill the left ventricle.
In patients with mitral valve prolapse, the mitral apparatus (valve leaflets and chordae) becomes affected by a process called myxomatous degeneration. In myxomatous degeneration, the structural protein, collagen, forms abnormally and causes thickening,enlargement and redundancy of the leaflets and chordae. When the ventricles contract, the redundant leaflets prolapse (flop backwards) into the left atrium, sometimes allowing leakage of blood through the valve opening (mitral regurgitation). When severe, mitral regurgitation can lead to heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms. Most patients are totally unaware of the prolapsing of the mitral valve. Others may experience a number of symptoms discussed below.
The mitral valve prolapse (MVP) syndrome has a strong hereditary tendency, although the exact cause is unknown. Affected family members are often tall, thin, with long arms and fingers,and straight backs. It is seen most commonly in women from 20 to 40 years old, but also occurs in men.
How does a patient with MVP feel?
Most people with MVP have no symptoms. Those who do commonly complain of symptoms such as fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, anxiety, migraine headaches, and even stroke.
Fatigue is the most common complaint, although the reason for fatigue is not understood. Patients with MVP may have imbalances in their autonomic nervous system, which regulates heart rate and breathing. Such imbalances may cause inadequateblood oxygen delivery to the working muscles during exercise,thereby causing fatigue.
Palpitations are sensations of fast or irregularheart beats. In most patients with MVP, palpitations are harmless. In some patients, potentially serious heart rhythm abnormalitiesmay underlie palpitations which require further evaluation and treatment.
Here is a great link from the CC regarding mitral anomolies
The fact that you have mild MVP and a very mild leak is very good. The fact that your father has lived well into his 80's with the same condition is AWESOME! Follow your doctor's orders and live your life normally, and continue to exercise. You may never have any progression....Also, it may (I don't know how...lol) correct itself. My daughter was DX with MVP and MR about 10 years ago, even had a Marfan's evaluation. A few years later, the MVP is barely noticeable and the leak is gone! The doctor said sometimes that happens ; )
If I understand correctly, myxomatous Degeneration is a potential cause for MVP, and you may or may not be affected by it....I believe that it sometimes correlates to normal changes as we age, but I'm not positive.