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Mitral Valve Prolapse

Clinical Heart and Vascular Center

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s heart experts have the experience, skill, and advanced techniques and technologies to properly diagnose and treat mitral valve prolapse.

Our Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery is one of the nation’s leading programs, offering a variety of treatments for mitral valve prolapse, including minimally invasive surgery.

Experts in the Latest Treatments for Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) – also known as Barlow’s syndrome, click-murmur syndrome, or floppy valve syndrome – is a condition in which the heart’s mitral valve does not open and close properly.

The most common heart valve abnormality, mitral valve prolapse is usually benign. It is, however, the leading cause of mitral valve regurgitation and can lead to endocarditis (infection of the heart muscle), stroke, and cardiac death.

UT Southwestern’s heart surgeons are experts in minimally invasive approaches to valve surgery. We’ve performed more of these procedures than others in North Texas, and UT Southwestern is leading the advancement of additional treatments such as the MitraClip procedure.

UT Southwestern also offers a dedicated Cardiac Rehabilitation Program. Cardiac rehabilitation is a critical component of recovery and can prevent future heart disease.

Causes of Mitral Valve Prolapse

Common causes of mitral valve prolapse include:

Mitral Valve Prolapse Symptoms

Symptoms of mitral valve prolapse include:

  • Angina: Chest pain that originates in the heart
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Heart palpitations
  • Physical appearance: In particular, low body weight, scoliosis, or hypermobility of joints
  • Shortness of breath with exertion or lying flat

Diagnosis of Mitral Valve Prolapse

UT Southwestern’s heart doctors use several tests to determine the problem. Common diagnostic tests include:

  • Chest X-ray: To look for evidence of mitral regurgitation
  • Echocardiography (echo or cardiac ultrasound): To visualize the mitral valve
  • Physical exam: Includes listening with a stethoscope for mid-systolic click with late-systolic murmur

Treatment

Treatment options for mitral valve prolapse vary for different patients:

  • With symptoms: Trial of beta blocker drugs first
  • With signs of neurological dysfunction or daily aspiring: Cessation of smoking and oral contraception
  • With severe disease that is leading to mitral regurgitation: Surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve

Clinical Trials

As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers a number of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease.

Clinical trials often give patients access to leading-edge treatments that are not yet widely available. Eligible patients who choose to participate in one of UT Southwestern’s clinical trials can receive treatments years before they are available to the public.

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Search for opportunities to participate in a heart or vascular research study.

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