Floppy Mitral Valve (FMV)/Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) and the FMV/MVP Syndrome: Pathophysiologic Mechanisms and Pathogenesis of Symptoms

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Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) results from the systolic movement of a portion or segments of the mitral valve leaflets into the left atrium during left ventricular systole. It is well appreciated today that floppy mitral valve (FMV) is the central issue in the MVP and mitral valve regurgitation (MVR) story. The term FMV refers to the expansion of the area of the mitral valve leaflets with elongated chordae tendineae, chordae rupture and mitral annular dilation. FMV/MVP occurs in a heterogeneous group of patients with a wide spectrum of mitral valve involvement from mild to severe. Two types of symptoms can be defined in FMV/MVP patients. In one group of patients, symptoms are directly related to progressive MVR. In the other group, symptoms cannot be explained by the degree of MVR alone; activation of the autonomic nervous system has been implicated for the explanation of symptoms in this group of patients which is referred to as the FMV/MVP syndrome. In this brief review, the natural history, pathophysiologic mechanisms and management of patients with FMV/MVP/MVR and FMV/MVP syndrome are discussed.

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