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: Echocardiography demonstrates prolapse of the mitral valve in at least 5 per cent of the population. Since some observations have linked this condition to stroke, we studied its incidence in two groups of patients with cerebral ischemia. The older group contained 141 patients over 45 years of age (mean, 64.7 years) who had transient ischemia or partial stroke. Prolapse was found in eight (5.7 per cent) of these patients and in 10 (7.1 per cent) of 141 age-matched controls. The second group contained 60 patients who had transient ischemia or partial stroke and were under 45 years old (mean 33.9 years). Prolapse was detected in 24 patients (40 per cent) but in only five (6.8 per cent) of 60 age-matched controls (mean age, 33.7 years). The odds ratio, 9.33, was highly significant (P<0.001). In six of the 24 patients there were other potential causes for cerebral ischemia, leaving 18 in whom the only recognizable potential cause was a prolapsing mitral valve (odds ratio, 7.00; P<0.001). This study suggests that this entity has a role in cerebral ischemia, at least in younger patients.