What Is Mitral Valve Prolapse?

By katherine
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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Mitral valve prolapse is a heart condition that can range in severity from mild to serious. The mitral valve is located between the atrium and ventricle chambers of the heart and controls the blood flow between the two. The valve is a flap that opens and closes to allow the passage of blood. Normally, in the closed position, it completely seals off one chamber from the other.

In people with mitral valve prolapse, this valve is stretched and does not allow for complete closure. If the valve is stretched enough, blood can leak from the left ventricle to the left atrium.

1. What Are the Causes?

This condition is caused by an abnormality in the flap, or leaflet, of the mitral valve. The reasons for the abnormality are often attributed to a leaflet that is longer than it should be. It may also be the result of stretching or degeneration of the tissue over time, as some people get the condition as they age.

In other cases, the leaflets in the valve are too loose. When this happens, the flaps are unable to create a strong seal between the heart’s chambers. Genetics may play a role, as there are many people who have mitral valve prolapse from birth.

Mitral Valve Prolapse

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