Mitral valve stenosis, more commonly known as mitral stenosis (MS), is a heart condition where there is a narrowing of one of the heart’s valves (the mitral valve). This blocks blood flow into the main pumping chamber of the heart. If the condition is not treated, it can cause serious complications.
How does one get mitral valve stenosis? The most common cause is rheumatic fever, brought on by strep throat infection.
What are the symptoms?
- Shortness of breath – initially only while active, but later on, even at rest
- Feeling extremely tired with mild physical activity
- Awareness of pounding heartbeat
- Swelling in feet
- Fainting episodes
- Chest pain
- Coughing episodes with blood in sputum
How can I find out if I have MS? A detailed clinical examination by a physician can reveal certain signs, like heart murmurs, that are indicative of MS. Later on, the doctor may ask for chest X-ray, ECG, and echo to confirm these findings.
What treatment options are available? Treatment depends on the severity of the disease.
- If mild: regular checkups and medications to prevent complications
- If more progressed:
- Balloon valvuloplasty (a procedure that widens the narrowed valve using a balloon catheter)
- Mitral valve repair/replacement surgery (the most definitive treatment option)
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