Causes: The underlying problem with the valve is a degeneration of the tissue causing the leaflets to become stretched and enlarged. This redundant tissue bulges into the atrium, preventing the valve from closing properly. The exact reason for this tissue change is not known, but it is associated with the tissue degenerative disorders. Functional MVP can occur with completely normal valve leaflets: this is found in conditions of abnormal papillary muscle function due to myocardial ischaemia, and in dilated cardiomyopathy. Patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are also at risk. Symptoms Most patients do not experience symptoms. However, when they do the symptoms include: • Fatigue ï Migraine ï Dizziness ï Panic attacks ï Low blood pressure when lying down ï Shortness of breath ï Palpitations ï Chest pain that is not angina However, these non-specific symptoms are not reliable indicators of the condition. When the doctor listens to the heart, a murmur may be heard. This is caused by irregular blood flow through the valve. A click may also be heard, thought to be due to the snapping of the anchoring “ropes” – the chordea – as the valve billows and then is suddenly held taut. This is much like the snapping taut of the sails on a boat. These sounds are often transient or absent, and might only be detected by an experienced cardiologist. If there are problems with the function of the left ventricle, the patient may experience shortness of breath and troublesome irregularities of heart rhythm. Barlow’s syndrome may result in severe dysfunction of the mitral valve, leading to what is called mitral regurgitation (MR), a leaking, or incompetent valve. Mitral regurgitation means that blood flows back into the left atrium during contraction rather than moving forwards into the aorta as it should do. About 25% of people with Barlow's syndrome also suffer from lax joints, and a high arched palate in the mouth (these patients may also have a degree of Marfan's syndrome), and other abnormalities of their skeleton such as scoliosis, a funnel chest and a straight back.
Treatment: Individuals with mitral valve prolapse, particularly those without symptoms, often require no treatment. Those with mitral valve prolapse and symptoms of dysautonomia (palpitations, chest pain) may benefit from beta-blockers (e.g., propranolol). Patients with prior stroke and/or atrial fibrillation may require blood thinners, such as aspirin or warfarin. In rare instances when mitral valve prolapse is associated with severe mitral regurgitation, mitral valve repair or surgical replacement may be necessary. Mitral valve repair is generally considered preferable to replacement. Current ACC/AHA guidelines promote repair of mitral valve in patients before symptoms of heart failure develop. Symptomatic patients, those with evidence of diminished left ventricular function, or those with left ventricular dilatation need urgent attention.
Statistics: The highest age-adjusted all-cause death rate was observed in men who were unfit at both examinations (122.0/10 000 man-years); the lowest death rate was in men who were physically fit at both examinations (39.6/10000 man-years). Men who improved from unfit to fit between the first and subsequent examinations had an age-adjusted death rate of 67.7/10 000 man-years. This is a reduction in mortality risk of 44% (95% confidence interval, 25% to 59%) relative to men who remained unfit at both examinations. Improvement in fitness was associated with lower death rates after adjusting for age, health status, and other risk factors of premature mortality. For each minute increase in maximal treadmill time between examinations, there was a corresponding 7.9% (P=.001) decrease in risk of mortality. Similar results were seen when the group was stratified by health status, and for cardiovascular disease mortality. Multiples of the median medians for pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A and β-human chorionic gonadotrophin were lower in HIV-positive women than controls (0.88 vs. 1.05 and 0.84 vs. 1.09, respectively; P < 0.005), but these differences had no impact on risk estimation; no differences were observed for the other markers. No association was found between HIV disease characteristics, antiretroviral treatment use at the time of screening or chronic hepatitis and marker levels.