Mitral prolapse? CIick syndrome? Floppy mitral valve?
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) has gone by various names in recent years, most of which refer to improper closure of the mitral valve during the cardiac cycle. The cardiac cycle is the sequence of events that occurs during a heartbeat.
Names include “Billowing Mitral Valve,” “Ballooning Mitral Valve,” “Myxomatous Mitral Valve,” and “Floppy Mitral Valve Syndrome,” among several others. “Click-Murmur Syndrome” refers to the sounds that can be heard when the MVP condition is present, and “Barlow’s Syndrome” recognizes the doctor who first described the condition.
Who was Dr. Barlow in mitral valve prolapse history?
Dr. John Brereton Barlow was a South African cardiologist. He 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. Barlow was the first to publicly describe that certain mitral valve irregularities were the cause behind the familiar sounds.
However, some cardiologists were skeptical of his assertions and viewed them as extreme. His first attempt to publish medically on the subject was rejected. Nevertheless, 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. One Dr. Criley would take Barlow’s work a step further.
Who is Dr. Criley and how did he contribute?
Dr. John Michael Criley is an emeritus professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA in the United States. He demonstrated to Doctor Barlow that mitral prolapse occurred due to mitral leaflet displacement, rather than due to leaflet aneurysm.
Criley, who is an expert in heart disease of the valves, 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.