Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP)


  • The mitral valve is the valve that regulates blood to pass from the left upper chamber (Left Atrium) to the left lower chamber (Left Ventricle)
  • It is so called due to the similarity in shape with a ‘Mitre’ (also spelt Miter)
  • This is a headgear which a Pope or Bishop wears in formal ceremonies


  • Mitral valve prolapse is one of the most common congenital defect in the heart
  • It is often shortened to ‘MVP’
  • One of the most common ways of picking these cases up is when the doctor listens to your heart with a stethoscope
  • A murmur is heard


  • The definitive way to make a diagnosis is by echocardiogram
  • This can be easier said than done
  • This is because the alignment of the echo beam must be perfect
  • Otherwise there will be an over diagnosis of this condition

The diagnosis should be made on Parasternal Long Axis only

Definition of Mitral Valve Prolapse. This is a enlarged picture of the previous echocardiogram

So what if I have MVP?

  • This depends on the severity of the prolapse/li>
  • The greater the prolapse, the more the valve leaks/li>
  • Over the long term the back flow of blood to the left atrium will cause it to dilate/li>
  • Eventually heart failure develops

Colour flow mapping shows

What do I have to do?

  • You will need regular echocardiogaphic examination
  • Depending on the severity of the prolapse and MR, the follow up echo may range from 3 to 5 yearly to as frequent as 6 monthly
  • The MVP and MR if not severe may be very well tolerated and nothing may need to be done
  • But if it becomes severe, valve repair or replacement may need to be carried out