Mitral stenosis refers to narrowing of the mitral valve, preventing it from opening widely during the relaxation phase of the cardiac cycle when the left ventricle is filling with blood coming from the left atrium and lungs. A narrowed mitral valve causes blood to flow back up to the atrium and lungs, resulting in congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation. Mitral stenosis is commonly caused by rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease. It also occurs in old age due to progressive calcification.
Symptoms of mitral stenosis are caused by congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation.
Initial treatment includes treatment of congestive heart failure and correcting any induced abnormal heart rhythm. Eventual valve-replacement surgery or dilation of the valve with a balloon is usually required.