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J Cardiovasc Echogr. 2018 Oct-Dec;28(4):207-217. doi: 10.4103/jcecho.jcecho_42_18.

Mitral Prolapse: An Old Mysterious Entity - The Incremental Role of Multimodality Imaging in Sports Eligibility.

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Luigi Vanvitelli University, Monaldi Hospital, AORN Ospedali Dei Colli, Naples, Italy.
Rummo Hospital, Benevento, Italy.
Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, Federico Ii University of Naples, Naples, Italy.


Mitral valve prolapse is generally a benign condition characterized by fibromyxomatous changes of the mitral leaflet with displacement into the left atrium and late-systolic regurgitation. Although it is an old clinical entity, it still arouses perplexity in diagnosis and clinical management. Complications, such as mitral regurgitation (MR), atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, endocarditis, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death (SCD), have been reported. A large proportion of the overall causes of SCD in young competitive athletes is explained by mitral valve prolapse. Recent studies have shown the fibrosis of the papillary muscles and inferobasal left ventricular wall in mitral valve prolapse, suggesting a possible origin of ventricular fatal arrhythmias. Athletes with mitral valve prolapse and MR should undergo annual evaluations including physical examination, echocardiogram, and exercise stress testing to evaluate the cardiovascular risks of competitive sports and obtain the eligibility. In this setting, multimodality imaging techniques - echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance, and cardiac computed tomography - should provide a broad spectrum of information, from diagnosis to clinical management of the major clinical profiles of the disease.


Athletes; cardiac magnetic resonance; echocardiography; mitral valve prolapse; sport eligibility

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