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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2000 June;48(6):161-8

language: English, Italian

Mitral prolapse. A heart anomaly in a clinical neuroendocrine context

Parlapiano C., Paoletti V., Alessandri N., Campana E., Giovanniello T., Pantone P., Califano F., Borgia M. C.


Mitral valve prolapse was identified as a separate nosological entity by Barlow in 1963. A characteristic of this cardiac anomaly is blood reflux into the left atrium during the systole owing to the lack of adhesion between valve flaps. The presence of symptoms linked to neuroendocrine dysfunctions or to the autonomic nervous system lead to the onset of the pathology known as mitral valve prolapse syndrome (MVPs). It is usually diagnosed by chance in asymptomatic patients during routine tests. MVPs includes complex alterations to the neurovegetative system and a high clinical incidence of neuropsychiatric symptoms, like anxiety and panic attacks. A neuroendocrine mechanism thought to underlie panic attacks was recently proposed based on a biological model. In general, the cardiovascular anomaly manifested by patients with MVPs could be defined in neuroendocrine-constitutional terms.

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