Mitral Valve Prolapse (MVP) is a heart defect that affects between 2-3 percent of the population. This condition is usually diagnosed in young adults between 20-40 years of age.
The Mitral Valve is one of the four located in the heart. As the heart beats, the valves open and close to let blood flow from the atrium down to the ventricle. Each Mitral Valve has two flaps.
An MVP can occur when one or both of the flaps is too large or when the chordae tendinea (strings that attach the underside of the flaps to the ventricular wall) are too long. The valve doesn’t close completely when the heart beats.
As a result, the valve “prolapses” or bulges backward when the heart is beating. This causes some blood to leak back into the atrium from the ventricle. The heart beats normally when someone has an MVP.