Mitral valve prolapse : a study of 45 children

Van der Ham, D. P. ; De Vries, J. K. ; Van der Merwe, P- L. (2003-08)

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The knowledge pertaining to mitral valve prolapse is mainly based on studies in adults. In this study, the clinical profile as described in adults was compared with that found in children up to the age of 13 years. Fortyfive children with echocardiographic-proven mitral valve prolapse and who met the inclusion criteria were included in the study. The male:female ratio in this study was 1:1.37 and was not statistically significantly different from reported ratios. Most of the children were asymptomatic. Twentyone of the 31 patients referred from outside the hospital had an incidentally found murmur. The symptoms found in this study were not similar to those described in adults. The most commonly found symptoms were shortness of breath and fatigue, in contrast to those of chest pain and palpitations described in adults. Comparing males to females in this study, significantly lower weight (p = 0.005) and body mass index (p = 0.003) were found in girls, and a significantly lower pulse rate (p = 0.002) in boys. Left-sided cardiac enlargement was diagnosed in 11 patients on chest X-ray and in six patients on electrocardiogram. One patient had Marfan syndrome and four others had a Marfanoid appearance. In conclusion, most children with mitral valve prolapse are asymptomatic. Mitral valve prolapse is not an uncommon finding in children younger than 13 years of age. Patients with mitral valve regurgitation were advised to take infective endocarditis prophylaxis prior to invasive procedures.

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