What is prognosis for people with mitral valve prolapse?
The outlook is generally quite good. Most people are not aware that they have the condition and/or do not experience symptoms. Few go on to develop complications. Those who do experience MVP symptoms can usually manage them effectively, and a number of treatment options are available for people who develop complications.
The life expectancy of someone with nonclassic mitral valve prolapse and no underlying medical disorders is about the same as that of an averagely healthy person who doesn’t have a prolapsing mitral valve.
What is the prognosis for mitral valve prolapse with regurgitation?
While MVP typically follows a benign course, a defective mitral valve can deteriorate and regurgitation can develop, where blood leaks into the left atrium. The degree of regurgitation has a direct impact on a person’s symptoms, risk for complications, and overall prognosis. Complications like atrial fibrillation, heart failure, edema, blood clots, and infective endocarditis are much more likely in those with severe MR.
Regurgitation tends to develop with age as the mitral leaflets and the chordae tendinae stretch or degenerate. Known as chronic mitral regurgitation, it starts out in a ‘compensated’ state and gradually transitions to a more serious ‘decompensated’ state. Once in the decompensated phase, abnormal heart rhythms, pulmonary hypertension, and congestive heart failure may occur, and symptoms may intensify.
Regurgitation can be also be acute, however. When it is acute, in most cases, the chordae tendinae or papillary muscles will rupture suddenly, causing complications and symptoms that may be intense. In some cases, medication may suffice as treatment, but surgery is often necessary. Surgery involves repairing or replacing the mitral valve and its structures.
What is the prognosis for MVP without regurgitation?
In a small number of sufferers without complications, symptoms like shortness of breath, anxiety, angina, palpitations, fainting, vertigo, and fatigue do occur, but these can usually be managed with certain medications, treatments, and lifestyle modifications.
Nonclassic MVP that accompanies dysautonomia (autonomic nervous system dysfunction) symptoms is sometimes referred to as mitral valve prolapse syndrome. These symptoms, while normally mild and manageable, can be bothersome. Rarely, they can affect quality of life so drastically that one becomes totally disabled and unable to function.
It’s important to note that there are different types of dysautonomia and that some forms are more severe and progressive. Furthermore, the autonomic imbalances that occur could be due to other serious underlying conditions. The autonomic dysfunction associated with mitral valve prolapse is often more troublesome than it is dangerous.
What is the overall prognosis for people with MVP?
The mitral valve prolapse prognosis of a patient depends on the degree of mitral displacement and the presence/extent of regurgitation, as well as the natural progression thereof and one’s individual risk factors, symptoms, and underlying disorders. How one manages the condition (diet, lifestyle, etc.) also has an impact on the prognosis, but most people are able to live long, normal lives.