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Mitral Valve Prolapse and Other Valvular Heart Diseases
What are mitral valve prolapse and other valvular heart diseases?
The heart has four valves. The mitral and tricuspid valves, which control blood flow from the upper chambers (atria) to the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart; and the aortic and pulmonary valves, which control blood flow out of the ventricles and to the rest of the body.
A leaky heart valve is a condition in which blood leaks backward through the valve after the valve is closed. This is known as heart valve regurgitation. This causes the heart to work harder to pump the extra blood forward. Another valvular problem is when the valve opening narrows and causes decreased blood flow through the valve. This is referred to as valve stenosis, which increases the risk of blood clots and also causes the heart to work harder.
Not all people with valvular heart disease have symptoms. However, some patients may experience fatigue, palpitations, chest pain, cough or shortness of breath. If the valve problem is severe, it can cause congestive heart failure.
How are mitral valve prolapse and other valvular heart diseases diagnosed and treated?
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