Floppy Valve Syndrome, also known as Mitral Valve Prolapse, or Barlow’s Syndrome, or Click-Murmur Syndrome, is a heart disorder in which the mitral valve doesn’t work properly. The mitral valve is responsible for controlling the blood flow between the upper (atrium) and lower (ventricle) chambers on the left side of the heart. In a healthy patient blood flows only in one direction, from the upper chamber into the lower chamber. But in a person suffering from Floppy valve syndrome, the improper working of the valves result in the wrong flow of blood,i.e., blood leaking back to the atrium.
The mitral valve is one of the four heart valves, which is located between the left atrium of the heart. The mitral valve is responsible for receiving fresh and oxygenated blood from the lungs. In a normal functioning mitral valve, the left ventricle pumps blood out to the body as the heart beats and the two mitral leaflets (also known as flaps) swing shut. This keeps the blood in the ventricle from going back into the left atrium.
Mitral Valve Prolapse or Floppy Valve Syndrome
The leaflets of the mitral valve do not seal properly in a person having this condition. When the heart beats, one of the leaflets move back into the atrium which results in a situation where the blood flows back to the heart. This is referred to as mitral regurgitation or a leaky heart valve. This condition forces the heart to work overtime to re-pump blood through the heart and body. The exact cause of Floppy valve syndrome is unknown. Most of the patients are born with this condition. But it may also be caused by Rheumatic fever, Coronary Heart disease, Cardiomyopathy, and Atrial septal defects.The prevalence of mitral valve prolapse is about 1-3% in males and about 2-4% in females.
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heart beat
- Chest pain
- Heart Palipitations (rapid heartbeat )
A doctor can diagnose Floppy valve syndrome(Mitral Valve Prolapse) during a regular examination by listening to your heart beat with a stethoscope. If the heart valve leaflet is defective your doctor may hear a clicking sound. If blood is flowing back into the atrium, a whooshing sound called heart murmur is heard. Both clicks and murmurs are signs of Floppy valve syndrome. The heart condition is then confirmed by carrying out an electrocardiogram test.
Most of the people suffering from Floppy valve syndrome(Mitral Valve Prolapse) require no treatment if there are no complications and no symptoms observed. But people with severe trouble and symptoms are recommended surgery or medicine. For symptoms like chest pain and anxiety, beta-blockers are prescribed. If the blood leakage is severe, the mitral valve may need to be surgically repaired or replaced. The timing of the surgery is a very important factor. When it is carried out too early there could be a needless risk from surgery if your leaking valve is working fairly well. Opting too late for the surgery could result in heart damage that may have already occurred and which cannot be later fixed.