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Diagnosis Heart & Vascular

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Usually, people have mitral valve prolapse at birth, but it can also develop with age due to normal wear and tear of the heart. Either way, a doctor can detect MVP by listening to the heart with a stethoscope. A prolapsing valve may make a clicking sound as it opens and shuts. It may also make a whooshing sound as blood moves into the lungs. In fact, MVP was once known as "click-murmur syndrome."

If a mitral valve prolapse is suspected, your doctor may order one of the following diagnostic tests:

  • Echocardiogram Uses sound waves to create a moving image of the heart at work
  • Chest X-ray Looks for fluid in the lungs or an enlarged heart
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) Measures the heart's electrical activity to determine how fast it's beating and if the rhythm is steady

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.