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Mitral Valve Prolapse

Also known as Barlow’s syndrome, Floppy valve syndrome, MVP.

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) occurs when one of your heart’s valves doesn’t work properly. The flaps of the valve are “floppy” and don’t close tightly. Most people who have the condition are born with it. It also tends to run in families.

Most of the time, MVP doesn’t cause any problems. Rarely, blood can leak the wrong way through the floppy valve. This can cause

  • Palpitations (feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or too fast)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Fatigue, dizziness, or anxiety
  • Migraine headaches
  • Chest discomfort

Most people who have mitral valve prolapse (MVP) don’t need treatment because they don’t have symptoms and complications. If you need treatment for MVP, medicines can help relieve symptoms or prevent complications. Very few people will need surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve.

MVP puts you at risk for infective endocarditis, a kind of heart infection. To prevent it, doctors used to prescribe antibiotics before dental work or certain surgeries. Now, only people at high risk of endocarditis need the antibiotics.

NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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