Mitral valve stenosis is a heart disorder that involves a narrowing of the mitral valve opening. This valve separates the upper and lower chambers on the left side of your heart. Blood collects in the atrium (upper chamber) before flowing to the ventricle (lower chamber). Mitral stenosis occurs when the valve doesn’t open enough, restricting blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle.
Causes of Mitral Valve Stenosis
Mitral valve stenosis can be congenital (present at birth) or caused by infections, heart attacks, heart disease or other types of heart damage. It can also result from rheumatic fever – a childhood illness that can occur after untreated strep throat or scarlet fever.
Symptoms of Mitral Valve Stenosis
Mitral valve stenosis may not have any noticeable symptoms, so expert evaluation is important. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Coughing, which may include blood
- Shortness of breath, especially during exercise or when you lie down
- Chest pain or discomfort
- Dizziness or fainting
- Heart palpitations (rapid or fluttering heartbeat)
- Swollen feet or legs
- Fatigue, especially during increased physical activity
Diagnosing Mitral Valve Stenosis
Your doctor will perform various tests to assess your heart valves and overall condition to diagnose mitral valve stenosis. They will listen to your heart with a stethoscope to detect abnormalities, such as irregular heartbeats (arrhythmia) or heart murmur (unusual sounds caused by blood flow problems). Your doctor may also check for other symptoms, such as fluid buildup in your lungs.
Treatment of Mitral Valve Stenosis
Medications can’t fix a diseased valve, but your doctor may prescribe medical therapies to address symptoms or prevent related conditions. Treatment may include diuretics to help reduce fluid build-up, and blood thinners to prevent clots. Your doctor may also prescribe medical therapies such as anti-arrhythmic medication.
Mitral valve disorders can usually be treated with mitral valve repair or replacement surgery, depending on your condition.
Your Orlando Health Heart Valve Center specialists will evaluate your condition and discuss appropriate treatment options that are right for you.
To contact us or schedule an appointment, call 321.841.4324.