[Skip to Navigation]
February 1982

Idiopathic Benign Mitral Leaflet Prolapse: The Pediatrician's View

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Texas Children's Hospital, Houston.

Am J Dis Child. 1982;136(2):152-156. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1982.03970380064013

Pediatricians sometimes grow weary of the continual badgering they receive from their colleagues in cardiology, who seem to be forever promoting earlier diagnosis and speedier referral of patients with possible cardiac disease. However, these messages evidently are heard and heeded because in the past decade infants and children with critical heart disease have arrived at cardiac centers at a younger average age than before, to the benefit of the patients and the credit of pediatricians.1,2

RATIONALE FOR DETECTING A BENIGN CARDIAC DEFECT  Inevitably, as important heart disease is recognized in more patients, more patients with benign cardiac defects are referred to cardiac centers. One might contend that the benign defect is best left undetected or at least unannounced to the parents, especially if no immediate treatment is needed or if investigation by a cardiac center causes anxiety or financial hardship for the family. Many pediatricians do remain quiet about