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Barlow's Syndrome

Barlow's Syndrome Causes

Barlow's syndrome is a congenital disorder present at birth. It is also believed to be caused by underlying conditions such as rheumatic fever.

Barlow's Syndrome Definition

Barlow's syndrome is a relatively common congenital heart disorder in which one or both of the mitral valve's leaflets abnormally protrude into the left atrium during systole. Barlow's syndrome is also known as mitral valve prolapse.

Barlow's Syndrome Diagnosis

A standard physical exam can usually lead to a diagnosis of Barlow's syndrome. If a physician hears a characteristic clicking sound or heart murmur through a stethoscope, Barlow's syndrome is almost invariably present. An electrocardiograph or ECG may be done to confirm the diagnosis.

Barlow's Syndrome Symptoms and Signs

Most individuals with Barlow's syndrome never develop symptoms, not even a heart murmur. The condition is considered harmless in most cases. If patients do develop symptoms, they usually come in the form of a heart murmur, a characteristic clicking sound heard through a stethoscope, mitral regurgitation, shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid and irregular heartbeat, chest pains, and other mild symptoms.

Barlow's Syndrome Treatment

Most patients with Barlow's syndrome live with the disorder their entire lives without requiring treatment. In cases where the disorder manifests with symptoms, medications such as preventive antibiotics and anti-blood pressure drugs may be used, particularly when mitral regurgitation is involved. Surgical intervention to correct or replace the mitral valve is very rarely needed.

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