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What Causes Mitral Valve Prolapse?

The exact cause of mitral valve prolapse (MVP) isn't known. Most people who have the condition are born with it. MVP tends to run in families. Also, it's more common in people who are born with connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome.

In people who have MVP, the mitral valve may be abnormal in the following ways:

  • The valve flaps may be too large and thick.
  • The valve flaps may be "floppy." The tissue of the flaps and their supporting "strings" are too stretchy, and parts of the valve flop or bulge back into the atrium.
  • The opening of the valve may stretch.

These problems can keep the valve from making a tight seal. Some people's valves are abnormal in more than one way.

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Mitral Valve Prolapse Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Mitral Valve Prolapse, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.

 
July 01, 2011 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.

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