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Anyone got any experience of heart murmour/ 'leaky heart valves' ??

(16 Posts)
Legacy Fri 18-Mar-05 13:24:59

My sister has just called me to say she's been diagnosed with a heart murmur caused by a 'leaky valve' - basically the flap between the two chambers in one side of her heart isn't a perfect fit, and everytime it beats, a little blood 'escapes' back into the upper chamber (at leats that's how she explaiend it to me).

Although she saw a consultant, she still needs to go back, and she isn't really sure how serious this will turn out to be? It was found because she sometimes has heart palpitations.

I don't know what to say to her? She sounds a bit confused and upset. Anyone got any experience of this? Does it make a big difference to you life?

misdee Fri 18-Mar-05 13:26:23

dd2 has a murmur. dh has aleaking valve. but i cant tell you how it affects them as dd2 is too young, she seems fine, can round about etc. dh has other heart problems.

noddyholder Fri 18-Mar-05 13:28:37

This is fairly common. I had a leaky valve a bit like that (although I do have another heart condition too)She can have the valve repaired or replaced if the symptoms really get bad and are affecting the heart and her quality of life Also she will need to have antibiotics before any invasive surgical/medical procedure and especially before dental treatment Many people just live with this day to day and never have anything done,the treatments are all fairly good I think according to my consultant

Potty1 Fri 18-Mar-05 13:58:19

Legacy - my dd has a three leaky valves among other things. It is actually quite common in older (not sure if that applies to your sister) people, particularly the mitral valve which is the one between the chambers in the left side of the heart. You can have a leak and have no symptoms whatsoever or it can cause quite severe symptoms, but it doesn't sound like this applies to your sister. The British Heart Foundation have loads of information.

One important thing is to mention it when she sees the dentist because of endocarditis. Info here


Legacy Fri 18-Mar-05 14:07:42

Thanks - that site looks useful Potty. My sister is 39, not sure if that's 'old' or not for these things?

noddyholder Fri 18-Mar-05 14:09:39

I am 39 and it often shows in your 30's

Mickj Fri 18-Mar-05 21:29:02

I have a heart murmur and have been told it is fairly common. My father has one also. I am 36 and have just had my baby at home!! Apparently, the murmur softens during pregnancy.

highlander Sat 19-Mar-05 04:05:53

I have supra-ventricular tachycarida (SVT) and trivial mitral valve regurgitation. It's very, very common in women and frequently presents as ectopic beats (feels like you're skipping a beat).

An echocardiogram should be done every 5 years and , if her cardiologist feels it is necessary she may have to take a single dose antibiotic when she has dental treatment.

A potential problem with mitral valve regurg is that any blood infection can lead to endocarditis (hence ABs for dental work). However, trivial regurg rarely, rarely, rarely warrents any medication or further action (according to my docotor DH!). DH says the biggest part of the treatment is trying to stop patients becoming neurotic about it and demanding unecessary drugs!

Why does the valve leak a bit? Most likely due to an anatomical quirk in the ligaments that hold the valves to the heart wall - a short ligament will hold a valve leaflet open slightly.

Hope this helps.

fairyfly Sat 19-Mar-05 04:18:05

loads of experience, please legacy ask again, my son has a pourly heart, i just got in though and i amvery drunk, leaky vakves and the like i know about , x

geekgrrl Sat 19-Mar-05 07:18:40

hi legacy, my mum has a leaky valve which she's had since her early 30s as a result of flu which developed into myocarditis (a type of heart infection). She was in hospital at the time but it doesn't affect her now as far as I know - she's in her mid-50s and very youthful. My dd was born with various heart problems, but no leaking valve.

ff - have you ever been to any of the heartline coffee mornings at the LGI? Am thinking of going some time but feel nervous not knowing anybody....

lilsmum Sat 19-Mar-05 08:04:10

my mum has this too, found out just before xmas, she had to have ecg and is having a 24 hr monitior fitting at the end of march, she has also been prescribed beta blockers called antenanol (sp?), she has very bad palpatations and her heart also sometimes misses/skips a beat which she can hear x

noddyholder Sat 19-Mar-05 08:07:29

I was on atenolol for years for mine It does work but the thing that really worked was when the gp told me lots of people live long happy lives with this and some never even know they have it The palpitations are definitely better when the stress factor is removed

lilsmum Sat 19-Mar-05 08:11:29

noddyholder... maye i could pick your brains on my mum's behalf

my mum has been on the betalockers for about 5-6 mth now,but she can still her her heart thumping, and is much worse at night, should the medication be helping this? she really doesnt know much about it tbh, but it worried that she is taking them and they aren't helping or doing anything

tia x

noddyholder Sat 19-Mar-05 08:34:07

I was on atenolol but still had symptoms It was changed to disopyramide and that worked although the side effects took ages.I find eating late and caffeine can bring on palps also for me I find it better to lie on my right side rather than my back if they start.Go back to the doctor and say there is no improvement there are various drugs and it is worth trying to get it right.Some of the long lasting ones don't actually last all day for me and so I needed a split dose am and pm to control it.The monitor will help them decide what to do Has she had an echo as that can sometimes give them more clues aswell

lilsmum Sat 19-Mar-05 08:55:23

no i dont think she had a echo, just the ECG, hopefully she should find out more from the results of the monitor, i will tell her to go and talk to the G.P about the med

thanks for your advice

legacy....sorry for the hi-jack xx

jampots Sat 19-Mar-05 09:09:46

HI legacy - i was diagnosed with a leaky mitral valve in about 1990 when I was 21 because like your sister I was suffering from palpitations which caused a shortness of breath. An ECG showed a minor irregularity to my heart rhythm and my GP referred me for further tests. Mine is very minor in fact it cant be heard through a normal stethoscope and was in fact picked up by a heart scan. I was then given a little box type thing which I had to use for a month and if I had an episode I had to clamp this "box" to my heart area and "record" the sounds, then telephone a specific number at the hosp and play it back to a machine. Anyway I had about 3-4 episodes during that time but when i next went for an appointment it transpired that although my heart was beating fast it was nothing to do with the "electricity" in my heart . Anyway the long and short of it is I actually think i am sensitive to dog/cat and about the time my symptoms showed themselves my mum had just bought a dog! so i think my palps. were more an allergy symptom which led to further investigation.

My consultant told me that mitral valve prolapse affects about 10% of women (usually with narrow rib cages) and tends to present itself in women in their twenties (not sure why)

Definitely get your sister to mention when having children/surgery/dental work that she suffers from this and she will need antibiotic cover (usually just 1 or 2 tabs before procedure).

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