Myxomatous is the adjective form of the word myxoma. It refers to the formation of a mass of cells in connective tissue. Myxoma is usually found in the mitral valve of the heart, which is located in the left ventricle. Myxomatous degeneration is a phrase used to describe the breaking down of this connective tissue. It can also refer to the development of lesions that resemble myxoma. Another term often used when talking about Myxomatous is mitral valve prolapse. Mitral valve prolapse occurs when the valve between the upper and lower chambers of the heart does not open and close properly.
Myxomatous Signs & Symptoms
Myxomatous growths can often be asymptomatic with the patient experiencing no symptoms and not even being aware that there are any problems. In some cases the patient experiences slight heart palpitations. This may initially be detected by the patient and then confirmed by their doctor.
Myxomatous growths are diagnosed through several tests including blood pressure tests, echocardiograms, chest x-rays, color-flow Doppler exam, and MRIs. The only known cause is genetics. Tests can reveal things such as dysrhythmia, which is an irregular heart flow. They may also find that the Myxomatous growth has led to regurgitation. Regurgitation is when blood begins to flow through the valve in the wrong direction. Advanced regurgitation can be dangerous.
In many cases Myxomatous growths do not require any treatment. Depending on the symptoms the patient may be prescribed anti-arrhythmic drugs to regulate their heartbeat, or Propranolol for chest pain and heart palpitations. Blood thinners may also be given to avoid clotting. Some patients do undergo surgery to repair the valve.
In most cases Myxomatous growths do not cause any negative symptoms and can go unnoticed and untreated. When they do begin to cause complications early detection and diagnosis will result in the best prognosis.