[New echocardiographic criterion in the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse].
ABSTRACT Currently, echocardiographic diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse is made when the mitral leaflets protrude into the left atrium crossing the mitral ring. However, there remains the possibility that some mitral valve prolapse, particularly mild one, is overlooked by the currently used criterion. In the present study, new echocardiographic criterion in the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse is proposed. The criterion includes the systolic dislocation of the mitral leaflets at its coaptation zone. The validity of the new criterion is supported by the following facts. (1) Dislocation of the mitral leaflets at the coaptation zone was never observed in healthy subjects. (2) Real-time two-dimensional echocardiograms from eight cases with a midsystolic click and a late systolic murmur, the characteristic phonocardiographic findings of mitral valve prolapse, invariably demonstrated the dislocation of either the anterior or posterior mitral leaflet at the coaptation zone leading to the diagnosis of mitral valve prolapse. Four of five cases with a midsystolic click and a holosystolic murmur were also diagnosed echocardiographically as mitral valve prolapse based on the proposed criterion. However, two of the former cases and one of the latter cases did not demonstrate the protrusion of the mitral leaflets into the left atrium crossing the mitral ring, indicating inability to diagnose mitral valve prolapse based on the commonly adopted criterion. (3) Based on the extent and degree of dislocation of the coaptation of the mitral leaflets, mitral valve prolapse could be classified into nine grades. It was found that the incidence of mitral regurgitation proved by phonocardiography or angiocardiography is higher as the grade of prolapse becomes greater.