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Mitral stenosis

  • Alternative Names

    Mitral valve obstruction


    Treatment depends on the symptoms and condition of the heart and lungs. People with mild symptoms or none at all may not need treatment. Hospitalization may be required for diagnosis and treatment of severe symptoms.

    Medications are used to treat symptoms of heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms (most commonly atrial fibrillation) and high blood pressure, as well as to prevent blood clots.

    • These include diuretics (water pills), nitrates, beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), or digoxin.
    • Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are used to prevent blood clots from forming and traveling to other parts of the body.

    Antibiotics may be used for some people with mitral stenosis:

    • People who have had rheumatic fever may need long-term treatment with penicillin.
    • In the past, most patients with heart valve problems such as mitral stenosis were given antibiotics before dental work or invasive procedures, such as colonoscopy. The antibiotics were given to prevent an infection of the damaged heart valve. However, antibiotics are now used much less often before dental work and other procedures.

    Some patients may need heart surgery to repair or replace the mitral valve. Replacement valves can be made from different materials. Some may last for decades and others can wear out and require replacement.

    For more information, see:

    • Mitral valve surgery - minimally invasive
    • Mitral valve surgery - open

    Percutaneous mitral balloon valvotomy (also called valvuloplasty) may be tried instead of surgery in patients with a less damaged mitral valve. During this procedure, a catheter (tube) is inserted into a vein, usually in the leg, and threaded up into the heart. A balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated, widening the mitral valve and improving blood flow.

    Children often require surgery to either repair or replace the mitral valve.

    Support Groups

    Expectations (prognosis)

    The outcome varies. The disorder may be mild, without symptoms, or may be more severe and eventually disabling. Complications may be severe or life threatening. Mitral stenosis is usually controllable with treatment and improved with valvuloplasty or surgery.

    • Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter
    • Blood clots to the brain (stroke), intestines, kidneys, or other areas
    • Heart failure
    • Pulmonary edema
    • Pulmonary hypertension

    Calling your health care provider

    Call your health care provider if:

    • You have symptoms of mitral stenosis
    • You have mitral stenosis and symptoms do not improve with treatment, or new symptoms appear