Echocardiography in the management of mitral valve prolapse

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11 Scopus citations


Echocardiography plays a major role in the management of patients with mitral valve prolapse (MVP). The technique has greatly enhanced our understanding of the pathophysiology, epidemiology and natural history. There are major and minor echocardiographic diagnostic criteria for prolapse. Major criteria involve the mitral leaflets and include late systolic posterior displacement on M-mode, bulging into the left atrium on 2D long-axis (LAX) view, and thickening and redundancy of the leaflets. Minor criteria include holosystolic posterior prolapse on M-mode, bowing of the mitral leaflets into the left atrium (LA) in the apical 2D views, and late systolic mitral regurgitation on the Doppler echogram. Any of the major criteria should be sufficient to make the diagnosis. One or two minor criteria without a major sign would be questionable. The degree of thickening and redundancy and the presence and quantitation of mitral regurgitation influence prognosis. Echocardiography is also helpful in identifying complications such as endocarditis and ruptured chordae. An echocardiogram may not be necessary for the diagnosis, but it is helpful for prognosis and as a baseline for possible future changes. The frequency of follow-up echocardiograms should be determined by clinical findings. When mitral regurgitation is present, then one should follow LA and left ventricular size and function. Transoesophageal echocardiography may be desirable for better definition of vegetations or flail leaflets and is frequently used to monitor surgical repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-555
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1992


  • Echocardiography
  • mitral valve prolapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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