In cases of MVP, upon contraction of the heart to pump blood to the organs, part of one or both flaps collapse backward into the left atrium. In some cases, a small blood leak occurs through the prolapsed valve, which may produce a heart murmur, or an abnormal sound picked up during heart examination.
In most cases, MVP is pretty much harmless. Most people who have the condition live normal lives and are mostly are unaware of it and their health is not affected. In some cases, however, treatment is required.
The most common cause of MVP is due to small, usually harmless, tumor-like growths of collagen on the valve leaflets (called myxomatous changes). Mitral valve prolapse occurs in 2 to 3 percent of the population. A person can be born with the genetic risk of developing MVP, or it can be caused by other health problems, such as some connective tissue diseases, namely a disease known as Marfan syndrome.
Symptoms of MVP, which in some cases may be related to leaking of the mitral valve, can include:
Chest pain (not caused by coronary artery disease or a heart attack)
Sensation of feeling the heart beat (palpitations)
Shortness of breath with activity or when lying flat (orthopnea)
People with an abnormal mitral valve may need mitral valve repair or replacement if:
• Symptoms are getting worse
• The left ventricle of the heart is enlarged
• The heart function gets worse
The routine use of antibiotics before having a dental procedure is no longer recommended by the American Heart Association for patients with mitral valve prolapse regardless of whether or not they have any associated symptoms.