Description of Condition:
Mitral valve prolapse (MVP Also called "click-murmur" syndrome, floppy-valve syndrome) is a common condition, especially in women. The problem arises from some excess tissue and loose connective tissue in the structure of the mitral valve in the heart: part of the valve protrudes down into the left ventricle during contraction of the heart.
An individual with MVP may have absolutely no symptoms, or the symptoms may vary from occasional palpitations, or unusual feeling in the chest arising from the heart beating, to atypical chest pain and a myocardial infarction. There is also a slightly increased risk of a small stroke or transient loss of consciousness.
Fitness and Diving Issue:
Frequently mitral valve prolapse will not cause any symptoms or result in any changes in blood flow that would prevent an individual from diving safely. A diver with known mitral valve prolapse who has no symptoms and takes no medications for the problem should be able to safely participate in diving. The individual should require no medications and should be free from chest pain, any alteration in consciousness, palpitations and abnormal heartbeats. Individuals with abnormal cardiac rhythm, which can produce palpitations, should not dive unless these palpitations can be controlled with low doses of anti-arrhythmic medications.
Medication Used in Treatment
Beta-blockers are occasionally prescribed for mitral valve prolapse. These often cause a decrease in maximum exercise tolerance and may also have some effect on the airways. This normally poses no problem for the average diver, but it may be important in emergency situations.
(James Caruso MD, Alert Diver, Jul-Aug 1999.)
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)
- Coronary Artery Bypass Graft
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
- Cardiac Dysrythmias
- Cardiac Mumurs
- Atrial & Ventrical Septal Defects
- Raynaud's Syndrome
- Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO)
- Heart Valve Replacement
- Pacemakers and Diving (.pdf)