• Clinical science

Mitral valve prolapse


Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is caused by a structural defect of the mitral valve that results in mitral leaflets bulging into the left atrium during systole. In the US, MVP is the most common heart valve abnormality and the most common cause of mitral regurgitation (MR). Although MVP is typically asymptomatic, symptoms (eg., palpitations, fatigue, dyspnea) may arise, especially if associated with MR. A mitral prolapse click is a classic auscultatory finding MVP and diagnosis is made with echocardiography. No specific treatment is needed unless severe, symptomatic MR is present, in which case mitral valve repair or replacement is required.



Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.





Clinical features



  • ECG: mostly normal
  • Transthoracic echocardiography (test of choice) to confirm diagnosis
    • Echocardiographic definition of MVP: displacement of the mitral valve during systole by more than 2 mm above the mitral valve annulus in the parasternal long-axis view
      • Classical MVP (∼ 60%): leaflet thickness ≥ 5 mm
      • Non-classical MVP (∼ 40%): leaflet thickness < 5 mm
  • Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is used as an adjunct to TTE and intraoperatively to guide mitral valve repair procedures.






We list the most important complications. The selection is not exhaustive.

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last updated 08/25/2020
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