A disorder in which a slight deformity of the mitral valve can produce a degree of leakage of blood. The mitral valve is located in the left side of the heart. Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) causes a heart "click" or murmur that may be heard through a stethoscope (an instrument used for listening to body sounds). In the past, more women than men were diagnosed. Recent studies show that it may affect men and women equally.
FREQUENT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Often no symptoms are present (about 60% of cases), and the condition may be discovered on a routine physical exam. For those who have symptoms, they may vary from a few that are mild to having many symptoms. The symptoms are sometimes referred to as mitral valve prolapse syndrome (MVPS).
Chest pain (sharp, dull, or pressing).
Fatigue, shortness of breath.
Lightheadedness when getting up from a chair or bed.
Anxiety and panic attacks.
The mitral valve is one of four heart valves that keep blood flowing in one direction. Prolapse means that openings (called leaflets) in the valve don't close as firmly as they should. This allows a small amount of blood to leak and cause the murmur. Why MVP occurs is unknown. The condition may be inherited or due to another disease.