Introduction: Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common valve pathology with a spectrum of disease from isolated prolapse to myxomatous, multi-scallop Barlow's disease. The main complications relate to progression of mitral regurgitation, endocarditis, sudden death, and stroke. The timing of intervention in patients with asymptomatic severe mitral regurgitation is controversial. Areas covered: This article reviews the pathophysiology, genetics, clinical features, diagnostic imaging, complications, long-term outcomes, and indications for intervention in MVP. Expert commentary: Several key dilemmas in the management of MVP remain. Factors which influence progression of mitral regurgitation are unclear and therefore, we have no therapeutic targets to prevent progression. Evidence-based methods to reduce the risk of sudden death, stroke, and endocarditis have not been identified. In symptomatic patients with severe mitral regurgitation valve surgery is recommended. In asymptomatic patients, careful risk stratification incorporating markers of left ventricular dysfunction, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary hypertension, and valve reparability is required to identify the optimal timing of intervention.
Keywords: Mitral valve prolapse; cardiac surgery; degenerative mitral regurgitation; echocardiography; heart valves; mitral regurgitation.