Doctors call it the "Hollywood heart attack": a middle-aged man breaks into
a cold sweat, grimaces, and clutches his chest-just like in the movies. Trouble
is, in real life, heart attack symptoms don't always announce themselves so
dramatically. More often they are insidious and puzzling, such as unexplained
fatigue or abdominal discomfort, and many people wait for hours before seeking
Big mistake, doctors tell WebMD. The ability to quickly spot signs of heart
attack, angina, and stroke...
Your doctor may
suspect MVP if he or she hears a
click or murmur while listening to your heartbeat. This click or murmur happens because the mitral valve is not shaped normally. MVP
may be discovered if you have a test called an echocardiogram that is done for
If your doctor thinks you may have MVP, he or she
will ask if you have a family history of MVP or heart disease and will conduct
a physical exam to check for MVP. During the exam, he or
she will listen closely to your heart.
To confirm the diagnosis,
your doctor may request an echocardiogram if you haven't had one. Your doctor
may also evaluate you for other heart conditions.
echocardiogram is the most useful test for confirming
that you have mitral valve prolapse. It is also useful to rule out MVP. Echocardiograms require careful review by an experienced doctor, because MVP is
difficult to detect with this test. Some people who have MVP will have a normal
Regular echocardiograms are not needed if you do not have symptoms or
complications of MVP.
Early detection and regular exams
MVP is not recommended or necessary.
If you have MVP, you will have regular follow-up exams. How often you need these exams is based on whether you have complications like mitral valve regurgitation or
thickened valve flaps (leaflets). If you do not have symptoms or complications, your doctor may suggest an exam every 3 to 5