Heart failure, or congestive heart failure, occurs when the heart muscles become weak or stiff and are unable to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. It usually starts on the left side of the heart but can also affect both sides or develop suddenly due to heart muscle injury. Heart failure can progress over time as a complication of other heart conditions.
Mitral valve prolapse is a condition of the valve between the left heart chambers where the valve's flaps bulge backward (prolapse) into the left chamber of the heart. This can cause blood to leak backward across the valve, known as mitral valve regurgitation. Although mitral valve prolapse is usually asymptomatic, symptoms may arise as the condition worsens, such as chest pain, shortness of breath on exertion, palpitations or fluttering of the heartbeat, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, fatigue, fainting, panic and anxiety, and numbness in the extremities (hands and feet). Treatment for severe regurgitation may involve medication or surgery, but lifestyle changes cannot treat mitral valve prolapse.
It's worth noting that while mitral valve prolapse can be associated with these genetic conditions, the majority of cases occur without any known underlying cause or genetic predisposition. Additionally, mitral valve prolapse is more commonly diagnosed in women than men.
TDuring heart catheterization, a long, thin tube is inserted into an artery in the groin, arm, or neck and threaded through to the heart. Contrast dye is then injected, and X-ray images are taken to examine the heart and its blood vessels. This test can help detect any blockages or abnormalities in the heart and its valves, and determine the severity of mitral valve prolapse. However, heart catheterization is an invasive procedure and is usually only performed if other non-invasive tests are inconclusive.
Asymptomatic patients with mitral valve prolapse do not require treatment, but regular check-ups are necessary to monitor the heart's condition. However, if the patient has asymptomatic mitral valve regurgitation, medications or surgery may be recommended, depending on the severity of the condition.
Medications such as beta-blockers, diuretics, antiarrhythmics, blood thinners, and antibiotics may be prescribed to treat irregular heartbeats or other complications.
Surgery may be recommended in severe cases of mitral valve regurgitation, with or without symptoms. The surgery can either repair or replace the valve, with a preference for repairing it. The surgery can be an open-heart or minimally invasive procedure.
Patients can also make lifestyle changes to improve heart function, such as maintaining a healthy weight, managing stress, and quitting smoking.
Mitral valve prolapse can cause complications such as mitral valve regurgitation, where blood flows backwards and disrupts the heart's normal function, and heart rhythm problems, such as arrhythmias, which can be dangerous if severe regurgitation occurs and causes the atrium to swell.
Mitral valve prolapse is a condition that can impact individuals of all ages. Nonetheless, severe symptoms are more likely to occur in men over the age of 50. This condition can also be hereditary and may be related to other disorders, such as Ebstein anomaly, Marfan syndrome, scoliosis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Graves' disease, and muscular dystrophy.
Mitral valve prolapse is generally considered a benign condition that does not affect life expectancy. Symptoms can be managed with medications or surgery if needed. However, severe mitral valve regurgitation can lead to complications and affect overall outlook. People with mitral valve prolapse should maintain a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, and seek regular medical follow-ups for optimal heart health.