Background: Sustained ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death due to degenerative mitral valve prolapse (MVP) can occur in the absence of severe mitral regurgitation (MR). A significant percentage of patients with MVP-related sudden death do not have any evidence of replacement fibrosis, suggesting other unrecognized proarrhythmic factors may place these patients at risk. Objectives: This study aims to characterize myocardial fibrosis/inflammation and ventricular arrhythmia complexity in patients with MVP and only mild or moderate MR. Methods: Prospective observational study of patients with MVP and only mild or moderate MR underwent ventricular arrhythmia characterization and hybrid positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Coregistered hybrid 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG)–PET and MRI late gadolinium enhancement images were assessed and categorized. Recruitment occurred in the cardiac electrophysiology clinic. Results: In 12 patients with degenerative MVP with only mild or moderate MR, of which a majority had complex ventricular ectopy (n = 10, 83%), focal (or focal-on-diffuse) uptake of 18F-FDG (PET-positive) was detected in 83% (n = 10) of patients. Three-quarters of the patients (n = 9, 75%) had FDG uptake that coexisted with areas of late gadolinium enhancement (PET/MRI-positive). Abnormal T1, T2 and extracellular volume (ECV) values were observed in 58% (n = 7), 25% (n = 3), and 16% (n = 2), respectively. Conclusions: Most patients with degenerative MVP, ventricular ectopy, and mild or moderate MR show myocardial inflammation that is concordant with myocardial scar. Further study is needed to determine whether these findings contribute to the observation that most MVP-related sudden deaths occur in patients with less than severe MR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1709-1716
Number of pages8
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • mitral regurgitation
  • mitral valve prolapse
  • positron emission tomography
  • ventricular arrhythmia


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