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Mitral Valve Prolapse


About 60% of people with mitral valve prolapse have no symptoms. A stressful situation, such as childbirth, job change, or viral illness, can bring on symptoms that may include the following:

  • Irregular heartbeat or palpitations, especially while lying on the left side
  • Chest pain - Sharp, dull, or pressing, lasting from a few seconds to several hours, usually not related to myocardial ischemia (that is, not a threatened heart attack)
  • Fatigue and weakness, even after little exertion
  • Dizziness
  • Light-headedness when rising from a chair or a bed
  • Shortness of breath
  • Low energy level, often misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue  syndrome


The numerous symptoms of dysautonomia include the following:

People will also have symptoms related to associated illnesses, such as Marfan syndrome or hyperthyroidism (increased thyroid hormone).

Call the health care provider if symptoms persist or are recurrent, such as chest pains  that come and go, palpitations, or light-headedness.

Once mitral valve prolapse has been diagnosed, call the health care provider if symptoms worsen or do not go away or if symptoms of congestive heart failure such as leg swelling or shortness of breath occur. This means the mitral valve is seriously leaking backward into the left atrium (mitral insufficiency).

People who have heart murmurs should consult a health care provider regarding use of antibiotics to prevent heart valve infection during minor surgical procedures or dental work. Women who think they are pregnant must call their health care providers. Go to a hospital emergency department if any of the following occur:

  • Symptoms of heart failure suddenly worsen.
  • Symptoms include evidence of a heart rhythm disorder, such as dizziness, blackout, or fainting spell, or a continuing and uncomfortable feeling that the heart is fluttering or racing.
  • Chest pain does not go away.


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