Mitral Valve Disease

Mitral Valve Disease

What is mitral valve disease?

The mitral valve controls blood flow from the lungs into the heart by separating the upper left chamber called the left atrium and the lower chamber called the left ventricle. It can become narrowed (stenosis) or start to leak (regurgitation) causing a backwards flow from the left ventricle, back into the left atrium. This reduces the amount of oxygen rich blood being pumped around the body.

Mitral Stenosis is typically the result of scarring from rheumatic fever in childhood.

Mitral regurgitation may occur as a result of age related degeneration, infection, enlargement of the heart or after a heart attack.

Mitral regurgitation may occur as a result of inflammation of the heart’s lining, endocarditis or after a heart attack. It may also develop due to wear and tear.

What are the symptoms of mitral valve disease?

Problems with the mitral valve can cause shortness of breath, palpitations and dizziness.

What assessment do I need if I have mitral valve disease?

Firstly, your doctor will have taken a full history from you. If Mitral Valve Disease is suspected, an ECG and echocardiogram will probably be requested to confirm. Ambulatory Holter Monitoring and Transoesophageal Echocardiography may also be indicated depending on your symptoms and the information obtained from the other investigations.

What are the treatments for mitral valve disease?

Treatment depends on the severity of the problem and may include medication to control the underlying cause or mitral valve repair or replacement.