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Mitral Stenosis

Mitral stenosis occurs when a valve in your heart can’t transfer blood from one area to another as well as it should. If you’re experiencing symptoms of mitral stenosis, speak to the experts at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center. At their offices in Dearborn, Detroit, and Trenton, Michigan, the practice’s expert cardiologists diagnose and treat mitral stenosis and other heart valve disorders using cutting-edge techniques. To find out how to restore your heart function, call your nearest office today, or use the online form to schedule a consultation.

Mitral Stenosis Q & A

What is mitral stenosis?

Mitral stenosis is a disorder where the mitral valve in your heart becomes narrower. This restricts blood flow within two of your heart’s chambers — the left atrium and the left ventricle.

The mitral valve is the opening between these two chambers. It pushes oxygen-rich blood from your lungs out of your left atrium to your left ventricle. If you have mitral stenosis, not enough blood gets through the valve, depriving your heart of the oxygen it needs to function correctly.

The lack of oxygen can cause fatigue and shortness of breath. In addition, the amount of blood in your left atrium increases because it’s not getting through the narrowed mitral valve. The blood collects, increasing pressure in the left atrium, which causes it to enlarge. Fluid also builds up in your lungs.

What causes mitral stenosis?

Mitral stenosis has several possible causes, including:

Rheumatic heart disease

Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a complication of rheumatic fever, an illness children may get following untreated scarlet fever or strep throat. Rheumatic fever is now quite rare in the United States but can still cause RHD. Mitral stenosis due to RHD is called rheumatic mitral stenosis.

Congenital heart defects

Some people have abnormalities in their mitral valve when they’re born that lead to mitral stenosis.

Mitral valve prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse happens when parts of the valve (the flaps) protrude into your left atrium as your heart contracts.


Lupus is an autoimmune disorder. If you have lupus, your immune system attacks cells in numerous organs and tissues, including the heart.

Calcific mitral stenosis

Calcium from your blood can sometimes build up on the mitral valve, making it narrower.  Calcific mitral stenosis is more common in older people.

How is mitral stenosis treated?

The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team might use medication to treat mild to moderate mitral stenosis. Drugs can’t repair the damage, but they do reduce your symptoms.

Options include diuretics, which reduce the fluid levels in your lungs, and drugs that regulate your heart’s rhythm. Anticoagulants (warfarin), antiplatelet drugs (aspirin), and fibrinolytics like tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) all help prevent blood clots from forming.

The ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center team might improve the mitral valve’s function with procedures like balloon valvuloplasty or percutaneous mitral balloon commissurotomy (PMBC). They can also replace the mitral valve if necessary.

They may be able to use minimally invasive techniques depending on factors like the cause of your mitral stenosis.

If you have symptoms of mitral stenosis, get a prompt diagnosis and the most effective treatments at ARK Cardiovascular & Arrhythmia Center. Call their nearest office, or book an appointment online today.