Mitral valve prolapse: from syndrome to disease

The American Journal of Cardiology
S H Gottlieb


Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is due to a heterogeneous group of conditions that may affect the mitral valve or the mitral valve apparatus. Although MVP may progress later in life to frank mitral insufficiency requiring mitral valve repair or may predispose to bacterial endocarditis, in most cases it is a benign, idiopathic condition without serious consequences. However, many investigators have documented that MVP is often associated with a constellation of signs and symptoms, which appear to constitute a distinct syndrome. These associated findings include autonomic dysfunction, frequent complaints of chest pain, palpitations, orthostasis, fatigue, dyspnea on exertion and anxiety. Although the risk of significant myocardial dysfunction or bacterial endocarditis appears to be related to patient sex, age and the severity of valvular prolapse and insufficiency, there appears to be little or no relations between the extent of prolapse and the degree of autonomic dysfunction or the severity of symptoms of chest pain, palpitations, dyspnea on exertion and anxiety. The development of uniform diagnostic standards for mental disorders has helped to make it possible to identify several related entities, including generalized anxiety diso...Continue Reading


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