Mitral stenosis is a narrowing of the mitral valve in the heart. This valve is in the left side of the heart between two chambers called the atrium and the ventricle. Blood must flow from the atrium, through the mitral valve, and into the ventricle before being pumped out into the rest of the body. Mitral stenosis causes poor blood flow between the two left chambers. As a result, too little blood and oxygen is pumped throughout the body.
Mitral Valve Stenosis
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The most common cause of mitral stenosis is rheumatic fever . This scars the mitral valve. A less common cause is a birth defect. Very rare causes include:
The main risk factor is rheumatic fever. Other risk factors may include:
Symptoms may include:
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history and do a physical exam. The doctor may discover mitral stenosis from:
Tests may include:
Antibiotics may be needed for certain infections or procedures that may increase the risk for heart infections. If your child has mild mitral stenosis, it will need to be monitored. He may not need immediate treatment for symptoms. If symptoms are treated, your child’s doctor may give certain medicines to improve heart function.
Your child may need surgery to prevent heart damage. Common types of heart valve surgery include:
Follow the doctor's instructions if your child is diagnosed with mitral stenosis.
Most cases of mitral stenosis can be prevented by preventing rheumatic fever. Treat strep throat infections right away to avoid rheumatic fever, which can cause scarring of the heart valve. Always make sure your child finishes all of the antibiotics given, even if he feels better.
There are several other things your child can do to try to avoid some of the complications of mitral stenosis:
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Canadian Family Physician
DynaMed Editors. Mitral stenosis. DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.dynamicmedical.com/dynamed.nsf . Accessed October 13, 2005.
Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Isselbacher KJ, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.
Seattle Children’s Hospital. Mitral valve abnormalities. Seattle Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/medical-conditions/heart-blood-conditions/mitral-valve-abnormalities-symptoms/ . Accessed July 5, 2010.
Shipton B, Wahba H. Valvular heart disease: review and update. Am Fam Physician . 20011;63:2201.
Last reviewed June 2012 by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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