Mitral valve disease happens when the valve in between the heart’s left chambers which are the left atrium and left ventricle are damaged.
These are the types of mitral valve disease:
- Mitral valve regurgitation. If the leaflets of the mitral valve do not shut tightly, blood may leak backwards.
- Mitral valve stenosis. The mitral valve flaps can thicken or harden which makes them fuse together, and this then narrows the valve opening, causing the blood flow to reduce from the left atrium to the left ventricle.
The severity of the condition and whether it is becoming worse determine the course of treatment for mitral valve disease. The mitral valve may occasionally need to undergo surgical repair or replacement.
Some of the people with mitral valve disease may not exhibit any symptoms for several years.
Among the warning signs and symptoms of mitral valve disease are:
- Breathing difficulty
- Heart beats irregularly
- Heart murmur (irregular heart sound)
Your doctor may advise that you see a cardiologist if you have a heart murmur or experience other mitral valve disease signs or symptoms.
The function of the heart has to be understood in order to comprehend the reasons of mitral valve disease.
One of the four heart valves that maintain proper blood flow is the mitral valve. Leaflets (flaps) on each valve open and close once with each heartbeat. Blood flow via the heart to the body may be diminished if a valve doesn’t open or close appropriately.
The flaps do not securely seal in mitral valve regurgitation. When the valve is closed, blood flows backward, making it more difficult for the heart to function effectively.
The valve opening becomes smaller with mitral valve stenosis. Small valve opening requires the heart to pump blood through it more forcefully. Blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle may be decreased if the valve’s opening gets too narrow.
There are several reasons of mitral valve disease. Some types of mitral valve disease that can develop at birth (congenital heart defect)
Mitral valve disease may also be acquired in adulthood. For instance, rheumatic fever frequently contributes to mitral valve stenosis. A strep infection that might harm the heart is the cause of this fever. This condition is known as rheumatic mitral valve disease.
Acquired mitral valve disease can also result from:
- Having an autoimmune disease (e.g., lupus)
- Changes related to age
- Other heart diseases
The following factors can raise the risk of mitral valve disease:
- Some heart-related infections
- Certain heart disease and heart attack
- Taking some medications
- Congenital heart condition
- Exposure of the chest to radiation