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Possible Heart Palpitations?

I'm a 22 year old female who was diagnosed with bicuspid aortic valve three or so years ago. A couple of months ago, at my last cardiologist appointment, I was also diagnosed with mild mitral valve prolapse. I've had what I believe are palpitations that occur occasionally that I mentioned to my doctor. He said if they are only occasional then that's fine and can be perfectly normal. However, the past month or two I feel like they have been occurring more regularly. In fact, the past three days I have had them once a day. I will just be sitting down and all of a sudden I feel like my heartbeat speeds up, and I have pressure on my chest as well as shortness of breath. It only lasts for a few minutes and goes away after I sit there and take deep, even breaths. Afterwards, I feel very fatigued and like I should just go lay down and take a nap. In an hour of so though, everything passes and I'm completely fine;heart as if I could have imagined it all. I've heard similar sounding symptoms occur with anxiety. Does this sound like it has to do with my heart or more like I'm having some sort of anxiety attack? Should I call my cardiologist and schedule another appointment sooner? Thanks!
2 Responses
976897 tn?1379167602
Hi. First off mild valve regurgitation is absolutely nothing to be concerned about. With regards to your palpitations, one a day is nothing. Even 10 a day wouldn't be a concern. I would learn to ignore them.
Avatar universal
Mitral valve leakage is extremely common, and mild leakage is not dangerous at all.  Strangely, even though minor leakage from this valve has virtually no symptoms and no significance in terms of healthy heart function, it *is* associated with a bunch of symptoms that include panic or anxiety and palpitations.  The reason for this complex is not really known.  You can google something like 'mitral valve prolapse and panic' for more information about this.  It can be treated with counseling and anti-anxiety medications.

But a bicuspid aortic valve is a different kind of fish. It is the most common heart defect, and it is significant, though not as risky as once thought to be.  However, with advancing age, there is a tendency to need surgery, because the faulty valve is associated with changes in heart health and the health of the aorta and aortic root themselves.

You should be under the regular care of a cardiologist all your life, and you should have regular (every year or so) heart tests such as stress and echo to monitor the size of the opening of your bicuspid valve, the amount of backflow into the heart (if any), and the diameter of the aortic root and the vessel itself.

Since you apparently do have a cardiologist and have had recent tests  I think the chances are that you are experiencing some form of anxiety rather than a heart function issue.

But there's no reason you cannot call your cardiologist back and tell him about your symptoms and worries.

Reading up on both mitral valve prolapse syndrome *and* detailed understanding of your bicuspid valve--including the fact that there seems to be a genetic tendency--would be a good approach in general, too.
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