Myxomatous degeneration

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Mahshid Mir, M.D. [2] Shaik Aisha sultana, [3]


Myxomatous degeneration is a progressive, non-inflammatory disarray of the structure involved caused by a defect in the integrity of the structure, due to the alteration in the synthesis and remodelling of the tissue. Myxomatous is a term derived from the word Myxoma. Myxoma is derived from Greek word muxa, meaning mucus.Myxoma is a non-cancerous tumor growth, it contains mucus or gelatin like substance. The term is most often used in the context of Mitral valve prolapse, which is known more technically as "Myxomatous degeneration of the mitral valve." It can also be used in reference to degeneration of the aortic valve. Myxomatous degeneration of the cardiac valves (MDMV) stands for the non-inflammatory progressive disarray of the valve structure caused by a defect in the mechanical integrity of the leaflet due to the altered synthesis and/or remodeling by type VI collagen]. The gross morphologic features are characterized by voluminous and thickened leaflets, in both longitudinal and transversal axes. This entity involves not only the valve but also the chordae tendineae that has also become thickened, elongated, and sometimes ruptured.


The degeneration occurs in conjunction with an accumulation of dermatan sulfate, a glycosaminoglycan, within the connective tissuematrix of the valve. The exact mechanism is unknown.

In many cases, the degeneration is limited to the mitral valve and follows a benign course. When associated with systemic diseases, like Marfan syndrome, the degeneration is more extensive and involves otherheart valves. The valves can become sufficiently distorted to cause insufficiency and regurgitation.

Deposition of excessive proteoglycans causes widening of thefibrosa, which extends towards basal aspects and also tends to involve the annulus and chords, which further leads to loss of collagen and elastic tissue.

Myxomatous degeneration can occur in other organs like uterus, where we can see myxomatous degeneration of uterine fibroids.

Historical Perspective

  • Myxomatous Mitral Valve disease was first reported by Delabere Blaine in 1817 in dogs.[1]
  • Myxomatous Degeneration of Mitral Valve is a genetic abnormality mapped to Xq28 gene.


  • Myxomatous degeneration may be classified as:
    • Primary
    • Secondary
  • Whitney in1967 classified MyxomatousMitral Valve Disease into 4 types based on the structures involved-[1]


    • localised to one segment.
    • involves ruptured chords.
    • Histologically- Myxomatous degeneration
    • Macroscopically- Leaflet redundancy and thickening predominant on the flail segment.
    • Reminder of the valve is thin and translucent.
    • Patients present in older ages
  • Diffuse Myxomatous Degeneration:

Clinical Features:

Patients can be asymptomatic,or can have mild to severe symptoms.

Patients can have heart murmur, cough, dyspnea, signs and symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure, Arrythmias.

Differentiating Myxomatous Mitral Valve Degeneration from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

  • The prevalence of Myxomatous Mitral Valve Degeneration in Canines, increases as age increase, and the prevalence especially in old, small breed dogs is 100%.
  • It affects about 5% of the Human population.[4]

Age and Gender

  • It is more common in Young females.
  • It is frequently symptomatic in males.

Risk Factors

  • Common risk factors in the development of Myxomatous degeneration are Connective tissue disorders like Marfan's Syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, and other conditions with collagen abnormalities.

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis


Diagnostic Criteria

  • Currently there is no diagnostic criteria available.


  • Myxomatous degeneration of mitral valve can be asymptomatic.
  • Symptoms of Myxomatous degeneration of Mitral valve may include the following:

Physical Examination

  • Patients with Myxomatous degeneration of mitral valve usually present with Mitral Valve prolapse.
  • Physical examination may be remarkable for:

Laboratory Findings

  • There are no specific laboratory findings associated with Myxomatous degeneration of Mitral valve

Imaging Findings

  • 2D Echocardiography is the imaging modality of choice.
  • Transesophageal Echo- shows Mitral valve prolapse and Mitral valve thickening.[7]

Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy

  • There is no medical therapy for Myxomatous degeneration of Mitral Valve, the mainstay of therapy is supportive care.



  • There are no primary preventive measures available for Myxomatous degeneration of Mitral Valve.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Borgarelli M, Buchanan JW (2012). "Historical review, epidemiology and natural history of[[ degenerative mitral valve disease]]". J Vet Cardiol. 14 (1): 93–101. doi:10.1016/j.jvc.2012.01.011. PMID 22386588. URL–wikilink conflict (help)
  2. Antoine, Clemence; Mantovani, Francesca; Benfari, Giovanni; Mankad, Sunil V.; Maalouf, Joseph F.; Michelena, Hector I.; Enriquez-Sarano, Maurice (2018). "Pathophysiology of Degenerative Mitral Regurgitation". Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. 11 (1). doi:10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.116.005971. ISSN 1941-9651.
  3. . 2007. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4160-2971-7.X1000-8. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. . 2016. doi:10.1016/C2013-0-12761-4. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. . 2019. doi:10.1016/C2017-0-02974-9. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. . 2016. doi:10.1016/C2013-0-12761-4. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. . 2010. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4160-6231-8.X0001-3. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. . 2010. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4160-6231-8.X0001-3. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. . 2010. doi:10.1016/B978-1-4160-6231-8.X0001-3. Missing or empty |title= (help)


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