Mitral Valve Prolapse | Symptoms and Treatment | MedStar Health

The mitral valve is made up of two leaflets that open and close as blood flows from the heart’s left atrium into the left ventricle. Mitral valve prolapse causes these leaflets to bulge into the left atrium when the heart muscles contract. This prolapse can allow blood to leak backward into the left ventricle, a complication called mitral regurgitation.

Our Structural Heart and Valvular Disease Program offers the most advanced treatment options for valvular diseases such as mitral valve prolapse.


Mitral valve prolapse often does not cause symptoms until a complication has occurred. Symptoms you may experience include:


Mitral valve prolapse can occur in anyone, and it affects three to five percent of the population. Some genetic conditions can increase the chance that you will develop mitral valve prolapse, such as Marfan syndrome and Ebstein’s anomaly.


Diagnosing mitral valve prolapse is the first step to developing a treatment plan. Our specialists may recommend one or more diagnostic and imaging procedures.

Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.

Chest X-ray

Chest X-rays use a small dose of radiation to create pictures of the structures inside the chest, including the lungs, heart, and chest wall.

Computerized tomography (CT) scan

The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance imaging, better known as cardiac MRI, is a combination of radio waves, magnets, and computer technology used to create images of your heart and blood vessels.

Stress tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.


If your mitral valve prolapse has not caused mitral insufficiency, your doctor may recommend monitoring your condition without treatment. If you need treatment, your personalized plan could include medication or more advanced options.

Mitral valve disease treatments

Mitral valve disease treatments may include medication, minimally invasive procedures, and surgery to treat a damaged valve.

Mitral valvuloplasty

Mitral valvuloplasty improves blood flow through the heart to the lungs and body by opening a narrow or stiff heart valve.

Percutaneous valve treatments

Percutaneous valve procedures use catheter-based methods to replace a damaged heart valve and are less invasive than traditional open-heart surgeries.

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