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Mitral Valve Prolapse Progression or Complication

There are numerous causes of mitral valve regurgitation. Most commonly, the condition occurs as a progression from or a complication of mitral valve prolapse, where the leaflets and strands supporting the valve weaken or enlarge, causing the leaflets to bulge into the left atrium. This prevents the valve from closing tightly, leading to blood to back up into the atrium, and happens in a small percentage of cases.

Other Causes

  • Damaged cords or strands of tissue that anchor the leaflets of the mitral valve to the heart wall. Over time, these cords may stretch or suddenly tear, particularly in those with prolapse
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Age-related deterioration of the valve
  • Past heart attack
  • High blood pressure left untreated
  • Congenital heart defects

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215