Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MVP...Mitral Valve Prolapse...

We are not talking MVP as in Most Valuable Player...we are talking Mitral Valve Prolapse. It seems that a lot of people have it, yet no one knows what it is. Moreover, people who do have it are all freaked out about it...lets settle the score...now.

So, MVP is is a condition where the mitral valve (the valve that is in-between the upper and lower part of your heart on the left side) leaflets are floppy, and thus do not close tightly. The "prolapse" means that part of the mitral valve is "prolapsed" or bulges into the top part of the heart, where it shouldn't be. 

MVP is the most common heart valve abnormality, and affects women much more so than men. Most people with MVP have no symptoms at all, but a small percentage may experience palpitations (feeling of heart racing), chest pain or anxiety. Usually, this condition is benign (harmless), but in a small amount of cases, it can cause other abnormalities which can be dangerous. One of these abnormalities is called Mitral Regurgitation, which is where the mitral valve leaks, and allows blood from the bottom part of the heart back into the top part. 

MVP is diagnosed both at bedside by a doctor using a stethoscope, and also by an ultrasound of the heart, called an ECHO. As mentioned before, many people with this condition have no symptoms and require no further treatment. However, the patients that have mitral regurgitation with MVP require closer monitoring. 

As far as treatment is concerned, if a patient has just MVP and no symptoms, no treatment is required. MVP with symptoms can sometimes be treated with medications to help with those symptoms (chest pain, palpitations). In rare cases, the MVP may cause severe mitral regurgitation, in which case the patient may need surgery to get their valve repaired or even replaced. Also, some patients with MVP have to take antibiotics prior to some dental procedures or other medical procedures, but these guidelines have changed in the past few years. Before, ANY patient with MVP had to get antibiotics before a deep dental cleaning, and that is not the case anymore.

 Hope you all enjoyed this little post...now you know everything there is to know about MVP!...(ok...well maybe not EVERYTHING!...)

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