Should I worry about my echo Doppler results?  My doctor said it is a “normal variant.”

Hi, I recently had an echocardiogram with Doppler. I was found to have a very mild mitral prolapse. The cardiologist said it was “so small that it wouldn’t be considered a pathology.” He also called it a “normal variant.” It’s at the tip of the anterior leaflet.The echocardiogram also said I have mild mitral regurgitation. Do you think this would be caused by a “normal variant”? Is it a normal Doppler finding? Is mild regurgitation the same thing as trivial or trace? Should I be worried? He said he didn’t think the prolapse would ever progress.

Submitted by Cindy from Massachusetts on 02/01/2015

by Raymond F. Stainback, MD

From what you have said in your question there does not seem to be any need for worry. We frequently see mild mitral regurgitation in patients who are otherwise normal from a cardiac standpoint. In the absence of new or worsening symptoms or changing heart sounds in physical exam, a follow up echocardiogram is not necessary if the exam is otherwise normal. If there were some indication for slight prolapse, then a second look at the valve by follow up echo in a couple of years would not be unreasonable.