Mitral Valve Prolapse
April 16, 2013
Professor Amelia Pose
The human heart is the strongest and most vital organ in the human body. This amazing machine keeps us alive day after day and it is important to take care of our bodies so we can live a long healthy life. Although sometimes no matter how much we take care of ourselves through proper nutrition and daily exercise problems can occur which we are not at fault. Mitral valve prolapse is one of these conditions that the cause is still unknown. Researchers think it may be hereditary and people can be born with it but never experience any symptoms. Although mitral valve prolapse is not usually life threatening some people may require treatment and a complete change of lifestyle.
Mitral valve prolapse, or MVP, is defined as a valvular heart disorder in which one or both mitral valve flaps close incompletely during systole usually producing either a click or murmur and sometimes produces minor mitral regurgitation. The mitral valve is one of the four heart valves. A normal mitral valve consists of two thin leaflets, located between the left atrium and the left ventricle of the heart. Mitral valve leaflets, shaped like parachutes, are attached to the inner wall of the left ventricle by a series of strings called "chordae." When the ventricles contract, the mitral valve leaflets close tightly and prevent the backflow of blood from the left ventricle into the left atrium. When the ventricles relax, the valves open to allow oxygenated blood from the lungs to fill the left ventricle. In patients with mitral valve prolapse the valve leaflets and Chordae becomes affected by a process called myxomatous degeneration. In myxomatous degeneration, the structural protein collagen forms abnormally and causes thickening,...
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