Study Links Mitral Valve Prolapse with Risk of Sudden Death

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Professor Prash Sanders Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, Knapman-NHF Chair of Cardiology Research, University of Adelaide | SAHMRI Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing, Royal Adelaide Hospital

Prof. Sanders

Professor Prash Sanders
Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders
NHMRC Practitioner Fellow,
Knapman-NHF Chair of Cardiology Research,
University of Adelaide | SAHMRI
Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology & Pacing,
Royal Adelaide Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: CLINICALLY WE HAVE HAD SOME PATIENTS WHO HAVE SURVIVED SUDDEN DEATH EPISODES AND HAVE NOTED THAT THEY HAD MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE. THIS STIMULATED US TO UNDERTAKE A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE.

MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings? 

Response: MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE IS A VERY COMMON FINDING IN THE HEART THAT IS PRESENT IN AROUND 1% OF THE POPULATION. IT IS CONSIDERED A FAIRLY BENIGH CONDITION THAT OCCASIONALLY PROGRESSES IN TERMS OF DYSFUNCTION OF THE VALVE.

IN THE CURRENT STUDY WE EXPLORE THE POSSIBILITY THAT THIS MAY ALSO (IN SOME INDIVIDUALS) BE ASSOCIATED WITH SUDDEN DEATH EPISODES. INDEED, IN 22% OF INDIVIDUALS WITH SUDDEN DEATH THERE IS NO OBVIOUS CAUSE. IN 11% OF THESE, MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE WAS OBSERVED – SUGGESTING A POTENTIAL MARKER OF SUDDEN DEATH. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: ALTHOUGH MITRAL VALVE PROLAPSE IS VERY COMMON AND IS MOSTLY BENIGN, THERE ARE SOME INDIVIDUALS IN WHOM IT IS A MARKER OF A FUTURE SUDDEN DEALTH EPISODE. PHYSICIANS NEED TO BE AWARE OF THIS RISK AND SCREEN THESE INDIVIDUALS FOR WARNING SIGNS OF A SUDDEN DEATH EPISODE.

WE ARE ALSO GOING TO NEED CONSIDERABLE RESEARCH TO FURTHER DEFINE THE APPROACH TO THIS PROBLEM.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: IN AN AUSTRALIAN COLLABLORATION, WE ARE SETTING UP A PROSPECTIVE REGISTER. WE HOPE THAT WE CAN BETTER CHARACTERISE THE FEATURES THAT MARK THE “AT RISK” INDIVIDUAL. 

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: DESPITE ALL OF THE ADVANCES WE HAVE MADE IN MEDICINE, THE SURVIVAL RATES IN INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING A SUDDEN DEATH EPISODE REMAINS POOR. WE NEED TO BE ABLE TO IDENTIFY THESE INDIVIDUALS “AT RISK” AHEAD OF TIME TO BE ABLE TO PREVENT THESE EPISODES.

Disclosures: I AM FUNDED BY THE NATIONAL HEALTH AND MEDICAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AND THE NATIONAL HEART FOUNDATION OF AUSTRALIA.

Citation:

Nalliah CJ, Mahajan R, Elliott AD, et al

Mitral valve prolapse and sudden cardiac death: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Heart Published Online First: 21 September 2018. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-312932

 

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