The center of your cardiovascular system is your heart. Your heart uses your body’s blood vessels to pump blood to all of the cells of your body. Your blood has oxygen that your cells require. Heart disease is a medical term that is used in reference to a group of diseases that develop when your blood vessels and heart are not working like they ought to.
Your mitral valve is also known as the left atrioventricular valve or bicuspid valve. It is a dual-flap valve that separates the upper (atrium) and lower (ventricle) chambers of the left side of your heart. Your mitral valve has the task of regulating blood flow from your left atrium into your left ventricle.
Barlow’s syndrome occurs when your mitral valve fails to close the way it ought to. This can lead to blood leaking back into your left atrium. This is a condition that is known as mitral valve regurgitation.
Barlow’s syndrome is the heart valve abnormality that develops most often. As much as 10% of the general population of the United States may be affected by some type of this syndrome.
No one knows the exact cause of Barlow’s syndrome. However, it is associated with many things. Some of these are:
- Minor chest wall deformities
- Medical conditions like Marfan syndrome, scoliosis, polycystic kidney disease, Graves disease, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and osteogenesis imperfects.
A vast majority of the time, Barlow’s syndrome does not cause any difficulties and does not need any treatment. However, when Barlow’s syndrome does cause signs and symptoms, it can have serious, life-threatening complications.
If you do experience signs and symptoms with Barlow’s syndrome they can vary greatly from person to person. Some of the possible signs and symptoms are:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Depression, anxiety and panic attacks
- Shortness of breath or having trouble breathing that often occurs when you are lying down flat or doing physical activity
- Migraine headaches
- Chest pain that is not caused by a heart attack or coronary artery disease
- An irregular or racing heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- A cough
- Heart murmur
- Low blood pressure when you are lying down.