HEART - Mitral valve prolapse (floppy valve syndrome)

This specimen consists of a heart opened anteriorly to exhibit the whole of the left ventricle and a portion of the right atrium and right ventricle. The left ventricle is moderately thickened, this is particularly marked in the interventricular septum where there is widespread scarring. The mitral valve has been opened and the valve leaflets are markedly enlarged and have a myxomatous appearance. Chordae tendineae are thickened and several of these appear ruptured.
This 56-year-old female was admitted to hospital in an unconscious state following resuscitation for a cardiac arrest. She remained unconscious and required ventilation. Four days after admission she was declared brain dead. Postmortem examination revealed mitral valve prolapse. This is also known as floppy valve syndrome or Barlow's syndrome and is characteristicly found in middle-aged females. It is usually of little clinical significance. In this patient there was also a myocardial infarct involving the interventricular septum with scarring of the septum being suggestive of previous episodes of ischaemia.