Mitral Valve Disease

What is Mitral Valve Disease?

The mitral valve of the heart is situated between the top and bottom ventricles on the left region of the heart. The responsibility of this valve is to ensure that the blood flows as it should through the heart in the right direction. If the mitral valve is not functioning properly, the blood will travel backward. This prevents the heart from pumping a sufficient amount of blood through the body.

There are various causes of Mitral Valve Disease, which include mitral valve stenosis, which is normally caused by a previous bout of rheumatic fever, congenital heart defects or blood clots. Mitral valve regurgitation is often caused by heart lining inflammation or a heart attack.

What are the Symptoms of Mitral Valve Disease?

Many individuals who have mitral valve disease do not have any symptoms and it is normal for the symptoms to advance slowly.

Symptoms include

People will often develop a cough, feel lightheaded or dizzy, have shortness of breath and become tired quickly.

Additional symptoms include pains in the chest area, swollen legs or ankles and a rapid heartbeat. Some individuals who have mitral valve disease also feel a tightening sensation in their chest.

How is Mitral Valve Disease Treated?

The type of mitral valve treatment that is required depends on the seriousness of the condition. The first form of treatment is taking prescription medications that will help prevent the symptoms and keep them from worsening. These types of drugs may include anticoagulants, beta blockers, antiarrhythmics and diuretics.

If medications are not enough, a balloon valvuloplasty may be recommended to widen the valve. The last resort is to have a surgical procedure performed to make repairs or to replace the faulty mitral valve. The types of replacement valves that can be used are biological or mechanical.