What Is Mitral Valve Disease?


Mitral valve disease is a condition in which the valve situated between the left atrium and left ventricle of the heart has a defect. A mitral valve that does not work properly can be the result of three common problems, which are a mitral valve prolapse, mitral regurgitation and mitral stenosis, as explained by the Texas Heart Institute. The mitral valve controls blood flow between these two chambers.

Mitral valve prolapse involves the bulging of the valve flaps, which may prevent them from closing completely. With this condition, a heart murmur may result, as reported by the American Heart Association. For some people, this condition may not cause symptoms or require treatment. However, a person may have a murmur and accompanying symptoms like chest pain and breathing problems. Treatment, such as surgical repair, may be necessary if either symptoms get worse or the left ventricle becomes enlarged, as noted by the American Heart Association.

Mitral valve regurgitation occurs when blood leaks back into the left atrium. This condition can lead to heart muscle damage, as stated by Mayo Clinic. Conditions like rheumatic fever or a heart attack, which can damage muscles, can also be causes for mitral valve regurgitation. Mitral stenosis occurs when the valve flaps become very narrow, according to Texas Heart Institute. Some causes for this condition can be associated with people who have had rheumatic fever.