Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is a condition in which the mitral valve does not open and close properly. It’s the most common heart valve abnormality and is usually benign. However, it can lead to mitral regurgitation, endocarditis, stroke, and cardiac death. Mitral valve prolapse is the No. 1 cause for mitral regurgitation.

Causes of Mitral Valve Prolapse

Common causes of mitral valve prolapse include: 

  • Connective tissue disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy
  • Myxomatous proliferation, a tumor near the valve
  • Rheumatic heart disease (history of rheumatic fever)

Mitral Valve Prolapse Symptoms

Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse include: 

  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Physical appearance, in particular low body weight, scoliosis, or hypermobility of joints
  • Shortness of breath with exertion or lying flat

Diagnosis of Mitral Valve Prolapse

Your UT Southwestern Medical Center doctor will use several tests to determine the problem. Common diagnostic tests include:

Chest X-ray
May show evidence of mitral regurgitation
Echocardiography
To diagnose mitral valve prolapse
Physical exam
To listen via stethoscope for mid-systolic click with late-systolic murmur

Treatment Options for Mitral Valve Prolapse

If symptomatic:
Trial of beta-blockers first
If showing signs of neurological dysfunction or daily aspiring:
Cessation of smoking and oral contraception
If severe and leading to mitral regurgitation:
Possible surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a mitral stenosis expert at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.