Mitral valve prolapse in patients with prior rheumatic fever.
It is known that rheumatic heart disease frequently results in isolated mitral regurgitation without concomitant mitral stenosis, especially in countries with a high prevalence of rheumatic fever. However, more recent surgical pathologic data also have demonstrated a high incidence of mitral valve prolapse in cases of rheumatic heart disease, which suggests that rheumatic fever may be a cause of mitral valve prolapse. To determine whether this association of mitral valve prolapse and rheumatic heart disease is present in a stable clinic population, we studied 30 patients who had an apical systolic murmur and a well-documented history of rheumatic fever with dynamic auscultation, two-dimensional echocardiography, and pulsed Doppler examinations. Twenty of the 30 patients (67%) had findings on physical examination consistent with isolated mitral regurgitation and 25 patients (84%) had mitral regurgitation by Doppler examination. Echocardiography demonstrated mitral valve prolapse in 24 patients (80%), whereas only one of the total study group had echocardiographic findings consistent with mitral stenosis. We conclude that (1) the presence of an isolated systolic murmur in patients with a history of rheumatic fever frequently represents pure mitral regurgitation secondary to mitral valve prolapse and (2) postinflammatory changes in valvular tissue resulting from rheumatic fever may be the etiology of mitral valve prolapse in these patients.
- Copyright © 1988 by American Heart Association