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Mitral Valve Prolapse

Overview :

Other names for MVP include floppy valve and Barlow's syndrome. The mitral valve is located on the left side of the heart between the top chamber (left atrium) and the bottom chamber (left ventricle). The valve opens and closes according to the heartbeat and the pressure that is exerted upon it from the blood in both chambers.

The valve has supporting structures that attach to the heart muscle to help it open and close properly. When these structures weaken or lengthen abnormally, the valve may balloon into the left atrium. Sometimes this can cause the mitral valve to leak blood backward.

This condition may be inherited and occurs in approximately 10% of the population. It affects more women than men and often peaks after the age of 40.

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