Heart with prolapse and mitral regurgitation
Mitral valve prolapse and belching Open the popup dialog
Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the lobes of mitral valve proliferation (prolapse) of the heart bulge like a parachute into the upper left ventricle (left atrium) as the heart contracts.
Mitral valve prolapse (MY-trul) sometimes causes blood to leak into the left atrium, a condition called mitral valve regurgitation.
In most people, mitral valve prolapse is not life threatening and does not require treatment or lifestyle changes. However, some people with mitral valve prolapse need treatment.
Although mitral valve prolapse is usually a lifelong disorder, many people with the condition never have symptoms. Once diagnosed, people may be surprised to learn that they have heart disease.
If signs and symptoms occur, it may be because blood is flowing back through the valve. The symptoms of mitral valve prolapse can vary widely from person to person. They tend to be light in weight and grow gradually. Symptoms can be:
A fast or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, often while exercising or lying down
The mitral valve controls the flow of blood between the upper and lower chambers on the left side of the heart. When your heart is working properly, the mitral valve closes completely while the heart pumps, preventing blood from flowing back into the upper left chamber (left atrium).
In some people with mitral valve prolapse, one or both of the mitral valve blades have extra tissue or stretch more than normal, causing them to swell like a parachute in the left atrium every time the heart contracts.
The bulge can prevent the valve from closing tightly. In some cases, blood may flow back through the valve (mitral valve regurgitation).
Leaving a small amount of blood in the left atrium may not cause problems. More severe mitral regurgitation can cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, tiredness, or dizziness.
Mitral valve prolapse can occur in anyone at any age. Severe symptoms of mitral valve prolapse are most common in men over 50.
Mitral valve prolapse can run in families and be related to various other conditions, such as: