Your mitral valve controls blood flow on the left side of your heart. The valve opens and closes with each heartbeat. It works like a one-way gate, letting blood flow from your upper heart chamber to your lower chamber.
When you have mitral valve prolapse (MVP), the valve closes after blood flows through. Blood flows normally through the valve. But the valve bulges backward a little. It looks like a tiny parachute or balloon as it bulges.
Is mitral valve prolapse a serious heart problem?
No. Mitral valve prolapse is not dangerous. It usually does not damage your heart. You will probably not need treatment. You can live a normal, healthy life.
Mitral valve prolapse raises your risk of having a problem called mitral valve regurgitation. This problem happens if the valve does not close tightly enough and blood leaks back (regurgitates) into the upper chamber of the heart. The heart then has to work harder to pump this extra blood.
Is mitral valve prolapse treated?
Most people who have mitral valve prolapse do not need treatment for it. A heart-healthy lifestyle and regular exercise are recommended for most people.
What are the symptoms?
Most people do not have any symptoms. You may not even know you have MVP until a doctor hears a "clicking" sound or a murmur when listening to your heart. Your doctor may want you to have a test called an echocardiogramto check for mitral valve prolapse.
What causes mitral valve prolapse?
Mitral valve prolapse is caused by a physical change in the valve. Physical changes such as thickening and abnormal shapes cause most of the cases of MVP.
What causes these physical changes is not known. A valve problem may be passed down through family members.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerMichael P. Pignone, MD, MPH, FACP - Internal Medicine
Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Group Universal Life (GUL) insurance plans are insured by CGLIC. Life (other than GUL), accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and disability plans are insured or administered by Life Insurance Company of North America, except in NY, where insured plans are offered by Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY). All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.
Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details