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. Less commonly, there are some congenital heart defects which may affect the mitral valve and its function. Very rare causes include bacterial endocarditis, blood clots, tumors, or other growths that block blood flow through the mitral valve.


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor may be alerted to mitral stenosis by the following:
Imaging tests evaluate the heart and surrounding structures. These may include:
Your heart's electrical activity can be monitored with:


If you have mild mitral stenosis, your condition will need to be monitored, but you may not need immediate treatment for symptoms associated with mitral stenosis. When symptoms become more severe, you may need more aggressive treatment, which may include avoiding exertion and high-salt foods.
Although no longer routinely recommended, you may need to take antibiotics prior to some dental and medical procedures. This is to prevent heart infections. Ask your doctor if you will need to take antibiotics.
Treatment 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.


To reduce your chance of mitral stenosis or its complications:
  • Get prompt treatment for any infections, especially strep throat.
  • Talk to your doctor about prophylactic antibiotic treatment to prevent recurrent strep infections.
  • Follow any treatment plans to manage chronic health conditions.
  • Avoid excess caffeine and alcohol, and all illicit drugs that speed up your heart rate.
  • Exercise regularly and monitor your salt intake.


American Heart Association

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute



Canadian Cardiovascular Society

The College of Family Physicians of Canada



Infective endocarditis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated March 21, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014.

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 June 12, 2014. Accessed August 20, 2014.

Premedication (antibiotics). American Dental Association's Mouth Healthy website. Available at: Accessed August 20, 2014.

Shipton B and Wahba H. Valvular heart disease: review and update. Am Fam Physician. 2001;63:2201-2208.


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