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Mitral Valve Stenosis

The mitral valve separates the upper and lower left chambers of the heart. Mitral valve stenosis occurs when the valve becomes narrowed. This prevents the valve from fully opening and blocks blood from flowing between the two chambers. Untreated, this condition can lead to blood clots, lung congestion and heart failure.

Causes of Mitral Valve Stenosis

Most cases of mitral valve stenosis are caused by the following:

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Medication
  • Tumor
  • Blood clot
  • Radiation treatment to the chest

Symptoms of Mitral Valve Stenosis

Symptoms of mitral valve stenosis can occur suddenly. Patients with mitral valve stenosis usually show symptoms of the disease when exercising or during pregnancy. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Respiratory infections
  • Coughing
  • Chest pain
  • Swollen feet or ankles

Diagnosis of Mitral Valve Stenosis

Mitral valve stenosis is usually discovered during a physical examination when a heart murmur, irregular heart beat or other abnormality is heard. Lung congestion may be present during the examination. To confirm the diagnosis, the following tests may be performed:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiogram