Cysts In Mitral Heart Valve – Is It Common?

Yesterday, I spoke with a patient who asked me, “Are cysts in the mitral valve common? Do they require surgery to be removed?”

I have to admit… I was intrigued. I had never heard this question before. That said, I did some Google’ing about medical conditions involving the mitral valve and cysts.

After reviewing several websites about cysts and heart valves, I learned that mitral valve cysts are rare. I found several write-ups that emphasized this point. Interestingly enough, I found two patient cases which identified blood cysts in the mitral valve and the surgical treatment used to remove them (mitral valve repair surgery).

Cyst In Mitral Heart Valve
A bluish cystic mass was seen attached to the
anterior mitral valve leaflet with a broad base.

CASE I (from Asian Cardiovascular And Thoracic Annals): A 68-year-old man underwent coronary angiography for postinfarction angina, which revealed right coronary artery stenosis and a mass in the left ventricle. Transesophageal echocardiography showed a large blood cyst originating from the anterior papillary muscle of the mitral valve. Coronary artery bypass grafting was performed and the cyst was successfully excised.

Case II (from American Heart Association): A 25-year-old, apparently healthy woman was referred to us with suspicion of left atrial myxoma found incidentally by echocardiography. Physical examination was unremarkable except for a diastolic plop sound on cardiac auscultation. Transthoracic echocardiography showed a large, very mobile cystic mass (23×25 mm) attached to the mitral valve and mild mitral regurgitation with normal ventricular size and function. At operation, a bluish cystic mass was seen attached to the anterior mitral valve leaflet with a broad base (pictured above). Resection of mitral cyst and mitral valve repair was performed successfully. Histological examination showed a blood-filled cystic cavity surrounded by a fibromyxoid wall with an internal lining of endothelial cells. The postoperative course was uneventful. Although small blood-filled cysts of the heart valves are sometimes found at postmortem examination of infants, a large cyst found in an adult is very rare. To learn more about mitral regurgitation, click here.

I hope that helps explain more about cysts in mitral heart valves.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of

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