Mitral prolapse, floppy mitral valve, or cIick syndrome?
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) has gone by many names in recent years, all of which describe improper closure of the mitral valve during the cardiac cycle, the events that occur during a complete heartbeat.
Names include “Billowing Mitral Valve,” “Ballooning Mitral Valve,” “Myxomatous Mitral Valve,” and “Floppy Mitral Valve Syndrome,” among others. “Click-Murmur Syndrome” refers to the sounds heard when MVP is present, and “Barlow’s Syndrome” recognizes the man who first described the condition.
Some mitral valve prolapse history…
Dr. John Brereton Barlow, a world-renowned South African cardiologist, worked at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London in the 1950s, where he conducted studies on the heart. During an autopsy on a patient who had manifested the “click” sound, Barlow discovered abnormalities in the mitral valve.
Physicians of the time were aware of the condition but did not fully understand it. Barlow determined to do so, continuing his investigations into the clicks and late systolic heart murmur. “Late systolic” refers to the timing of the murmur in relation to the different phases of the cardiac cycle.
Dr. Barlow’s discovery
Barlow was the first to publicly describe that certain mitral valve irregularities were the cause behind the familiar sounds. Yet, some cardiologists were skeptical of his assertions and viewed them as extreme.
His first attempt to publish medically on the subject was rejected. However, he went on to write a pioneering paper that would appear in the British Heart Journal on March 30th of 1968, which is now widely cited.
Dr. Criley’s findings
Dr. John Michael Criley took Barlow’s work a step further. He demonstrated to Doctor Barlow that mitral prolapse occurred due to mitral leaflet displacement, rather than due to leaflet aneurysm, as previously thought.
Criley, who is an expert in valvular heart disease, cardiac hemodynamics, auscultation and catheterization, is credited with coining the term “mitral valve prolapse“ in 1966 and has since contributed immensely in the field of cardiology.