Background: Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is common in women. Other clinical features such as flexibility and hyperlaxity are often associated with MVP, as there is a common biochemical and histological basis for collagen tissue characteristics, range of joint motion, and mitral leaflet excursion.
Objective: To confirm whether adult women with MVP are more flexible and hypermobile than those without.
Methods: Data from 125 women (mean age 50 years), 31 of them with MVP, were retrospectively analysed with regard to clinical and kinanthropometric aspects. Passive joint motion was evaluated in 20 body movements using Flexitest and three laxity tests. Flexitest individual movements (0 to 4) and overall Flexindex scores were obtained in all subjects by the same investigator.
Results: Women with MVP were lighter, less endomorphic and mesomorphic, and more linear. The Flexindex was significantly higher in the women with MVP, both absolute (48 (1.6) v 41 (1.3); p<0.01) and centile for age (67 v 42; p<0.01) values. In 13 out of 20 movements, the Flexitest scores were significantly higher for the women with MVP. Signs of hyperlaxity were about five times more common in these women: 74% v 16% (p<0.01). Scores of 0 and 1 in elbow extension, absence of hyperlaxity, and a Flexindex centile below 65 were almost never found in women with MVP.
Conclusion: Flexitest, alone or combined with hyperlaxity tests, may be useful in the assessment of adult women with MVP.
- BSVI, between segment variability index
- DPVI, distal-proximal variability index
- FEVI, flexion-extension variability index
- IJVI, interjoint variability index
- IMVI, intermovement variability index
- MVP, mitral valve prolapse
- mitral valve prolapse
- four second exercise test
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Competing interests: none declared