Mitral valve prolapse
Mitral valve prolapse is a valvular heart disease
Valvular heart disease
Valvular heart disease is any disease process involving one or more of the valves of the heart . Valve problems may be congenital or acquired...

 characterized by the displacement of an abnormally thickened mitral valve
Mitral valve
The mitral valve is a dual-flap valve in the heart that lies between the left atrium and the left ventricle...

 leaflet into the left atrium during systole
Systole (medicine)
Systole is the contraction of the heart. Used alone, it usually means the contraction of the left ventricle.In all mammals, the heart has 4 chambers. The left and right ventricles pump together. The atria and ventricles pump in sequence...

. There are various types of MVP, broadly classified as classic and nonclassic. In its nonclassic form, MVP carries a low risk of complications. In severe cases of classic MVP, complications include mitral regurgitation
Mitral regurgitation
Mitral regurgitation , mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence is a disorder of the heart in which the mitral valve does not close properly when the heart pumps out blood. It is the abnormal leaking of blood from the left ventricle, through the mitral valve, and into the left atrium, when...

, infective endocarditis
Infective endocarditis
Infective endocarditis is a form of endocarditis, or inflammation, of the inner tissue of the heart, such as its valves, caused by infectious agents. The agents are usually bacterial, but other organisms can also be responsible....

, congestive heart failure
Congestive heart failure
Heart failure often called congestive heart failure is generally defined as the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to meet the needs of the body. Heart failure can cause a number of symptoms including shortness of breath, leg swelling, and exercise intolerance. The condition...

, and—in rare circumstances—cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest
Cardiac arrest, is the cessation of normal circulation of the blood due to failure of the heart to contract effectively...

, usually resulting in sudden death
Sudden death
In a sport or game, sudden death is a form of competition where play ends as soon as one competitor is ahead of the others, with that competitor becoming the winner. Sudden death is typically used as a tiebreaker when a contest is tied at the end of the normal playing time or the completion of...


The diagnosis of MVP depends upon echocardiography
An echocardiogram, often referred to in the medical community as a cardiac ECHO or simply an ECHO, is a sonogram of the heart . Also known as a cardiac ultrasound, it uses standard ultrasound techniques to image two-dimensional slices of the heart...

, which uses ultrasound
Ultrasound is cyclic sound pressure with a frequency greater than the upper limit of human hearing. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is...

 to visualize the mitral valve.