In mitral valve disease, the mitral valve, which is located between your left heart chambers (left atrium and left ventricle), doesn’t work properly. Two types of mitral valve disease include mitral valve regurgitation, in which the mitral valve does not close properly when the heart pumps out blood, and mitral valve stenosis, characterized by the narrowing of the orifice of the mitral valve of the heart.
What is mitral regurgitation?
Mitral regurgitation, also known as mitral insufficiency or mitral incompetence, is a condition in which the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close tightly, allowing blood to flow backward in the heart. If the mitral valve regurgitation is significant, blood can’t move through your heart or to the rest of your body as efficiently, resulting you feeling tired or out of breath. Heart surgery may be needed to repair or replace the valve for severe leakage or regurgitation. Left untreated, severe mitral valve regurgitation can cause heart failure or heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias).
What are the symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of mitral regurgitation may include heart murmur, shortness of breath (dyspnea), fatigue, heart palpitations, and swollen feet or ankles.
What is mitral stenosis?
Mitral stenosis is a narrowing of the heart’s mitral valve. This abnormal valve doesn’t open properly, blocking blood flow into the main pumping chamber of your heart (left ventricle). Mitral valve stenosis can make you tired and short of breath, among other problems.
The primary cause of mitral valve stenosis is rheumatic fever, which is related to strep infections. While rare in the United States, rheumatic fever is still common in developing countries, and can scar the mitral valve. Left untreated, mitral valve stenosis can lead to serious heart complications.
What are the symptoms?
Mitral valve stenosis usually progresses slowly over time. Signs and symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, swollen feet or legs, Heart palpitations — sensations of a rapid, fluttering heartbeat, dizziness or fainting, coughing up blood or chest discomfort or chest pain.
Mitral valve stenosis symptoms may appear or worsen anytime your heart rate increases, such as during exercise. An episode of rapid heartbeats may accompany these symptoms. Or they may be triggered by pregnancy or other body stress, such as an infection.