Stenosis means narrowing of an opening, such as a heart valve. Stenosis of the mitral valve limits the forward flow of blood from the left atrium to the left ventricle. This may cause a back-up of blood and fluid in the lungs. Mitral stenosis most commonly develops many years after a person has had rheumatic fever, although many patients diagnosed with mitral stenosis don't recall ever having the illness.
Causes: Diagnosed with mitral stenosis don’t recall ever having the illness. During rheumatic fever, the valve becomes Mitral stenosis most commonly develops many years after a person has had rheumatic fever, although many patients inflamed. Over time, the leaflets of the inflamed valve stick together and become scarred, rigid and thickened, limiting its ability to open completely.
Symptoms: Many of the symptoms of mitral stenosis, such as shortness of breath and fatigue, result from a back-up of blood in the lungs. Other symptoms of mitral stenosis may include quick weight gain; weakness; dizziness; swelling in the ankles, feet and/or abdomen (edema); and/or heart palpitations (irregular heartbeat).
Treatment: A balloon valvotomy is the preferred treatment for mitral valve stenosis. It is a procedure that widens the mitral valve so that blood flows more easily through the heart. A balloon valvotomy is a minimally invasive procedure. A doctor uses a thin flexible tube (catheter) that is inserted through an artery in the groin or arm and threaded into the heart. When the tube reaches the narrowed mitral valve, a balloon device located on the tip of the catheter is quickly inflated. The narrowed or fused mitral valve leaflets are separated and stretched open as the balloon presses against them. This process increases the size of the mitral valve opening and allows more blood to flow from the left atrium into the left ventricle.
Statistics: The incidence of severe regurgitation in this study was 7.5%, and the mean grade of angiographic regurgitation in these patients increased from 0.9 +/- 1.0 to 2.8 +/- 0.7 (p < 0.05). The most common cause of regurgitation (43%) was rupture of chordae tendineae to the anterior or posterior mitral leaflet. Tearing of a leaflet (usually the posterior one) occurred in 30% of patients; and no recognizable structural abnormality, with wide splitting of the commissures and a central regurgitant jet, was present in five patients (26%). All patients with definite posterior leaflet tears had heavily calcified leaflets. Patients who developed severe regurgitation had fewer balloon inflations and a higher grade of preexisting mitral regurgitation but were otherwise similar to the remaining patients without severe regurgitation. During 6-month follow-up, 71% of the patients with severe regurgitation were treated surgically; the grade of regurgitation decreased in four patients (19%), and five patients (24%) have not required mitral valve replacement during 18 +/- 5 months of follow-up.