Researchers at the University of Miami reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology that elevations of certain substances in the skin could be a sign of severe mitral valve prolapse. Along with ecocardiograms, skin biopsy could help save lives by preventing the sudden death of patients who have the condition.
Our reporter Damian McNamara talked with Dr. Paolo Romanelli about a small study of eight patients with severe mitral valve prolapse and six control individuals. All participants had skin biopsies. The investigators found patients with severe mitral valve prolapse had elevated levels of mucins/proteoglycans in the skin. It may be that a skin biopsy and evaluation of these substances can help prevent sudden deaths due to severe mitral valve prolapse.