Munson Health
Mitral Stenosis -- Adult

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by Badash M

(Mitral Valve Stenosis—Adult)



The most common cause of mitral stenosis is rheumatic fever, which scars the mitral valve. A less common cause is a congenital defect, usually part of a complex of multiple heart defects present at birth. Very rare causes include infectious endocarditis, blood clots, tumors, or other growths that block blood flow through the mitral valve.


If you have mild mitral stenosis, your condition will need to be monitored, but may not need immediate treatment for symptoms associated with mitral stenosis. When symptoms become more severe, you may need to limit exertion and avoid high-salt foods. In addition, treatments may include:


Common types of heart valve surgery include:
  • Mitral valvulotomy—A surgical cut or enlargement is made in the stenotic mitral valve to relieve the obstruction.
  • Balloon valvuloplasty—A balloon device is inserted into the blocked mitral valve to open or enlarge the valve. This may provide temporary relief of symptoms. However, the valve may become blocked again.
  • Mitral valve replacement—This is the surgical replacement of a defective heart valve. This surgery is usually delayed until symptoms are severe or the patient can no longer be helped by other procedures.
If you are diagnosed with mitral stenosis, follow your doctor's instructions.
If you are diagnosed with mitral stenosis, follow your doctor's instructions.


Most cases of mitral stenosis can be avoided by preventing rheumatic fever:
  • Treat strep throat infections promptly to avoid rheumatic fever, which can cause scarring of the heart valve. Always finish all of the antibiotics prescribed, even if you feel better before taking all of the doses.
Avoid IV drug use
In addition, there are several things you can do to try to avoid some of the complications of mitral stenosis:
  • Get regular medical care, including checkups and periodic electrocardiograms.
  • Talk to your dentist and doctor about your condition before any medical or dental procedures. It is no longer recommended that you take antibiotics to prevent infections before dental or medical procedures, but it may be necessary in some cases.
  • If your valve problem was caused by rheumatic fever, talk to your doctor about antibiotic treatment to prevent future episodes of rheumatic fever.
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and drugs that speed up your heart rate. They will only worsen your symptoms.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Follow your doctor’s recommendations for exercise.
  • Ask your doctor about cutting back on salt. This may help decrease the pressure in your heart and improve your symptoms.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and inform your healthcare provider if you seem to be developing high blood pressure, which can worsen your symptoms.


American Heart Association

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute



Canadian Cardiovascular Society

The College of Family Physicians of Canada



Premedication (antibiotics). American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy website. Available at: Updated May 9, 2013.

Infective endocarditis. American Heart Association website. Available at: Updated April 12, 2013. Accessed May 9, 2013.

Fauci AS, Braunwald E, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 14th ed. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.

Mitral stenosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated November 16, 2012. Accessed May 9, 2013.

Shipton B and Wahba H. Valvular heart disease: review and update. Am Fam Physician. 20011;63:2201.


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