Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Mitral valve disease is a disorder of the mitral valve of the heart where it fails to function properly and backflow of blood takes place. It can be caused by mitral valve regurgitation, mitral valve prolapse or mitral valve stenosis. They all are types of mitral valve disease.

Can Mitral Valve Disease Go Away On Its Own?

Mitral valve disease is a progressive disorder and the symptoms can occur very late in some cases. But it cannot go away on its own. It has to be treated early to prevent life-threatening complications such as stroke and heart failure.

Normally the blood flows through the heart between different chambers via the valves. There are three valves present known as mitral valves, aortic valves and pulmonary valves. They allow the blood to flow from one chamber to another and also prevent backflow of blood. In mitral valve disease, the mitral valve does not close all the way and when the ventricle contracts the blood flows backwards into the atrium. This cuts down the amount of blood flowing to the rest of the body. As a result of this the heart will try to pump harder and when it becomes long term, it will lead to congestive heart failure. Therefore, it is important to diagnose the condition early and also start treatment as soon as possible to ease symptoms and undergo surgery if required. You should not wait for it to resolve on its own even when you don’t feel the symptoms because it is a mechanical disorder and until repaired it cannot go away.

Causes And Symptoms Of Mitral Valve Disease

Many diseases or problems can lead to mitral valve disease that will damage and weaken the muscles of the heart especially around the valve. The risk is increased if you are suffer from coronary artery disease or consistent rise in blood pressure, infection of the valves of the heart, prolapse of mitral valve, rare conditions such as untreated syphilis, rheumatic heart disease that is a complication of untreated streptococcus throat infection and swelling of the ventricular chamber of the heart.

Mitral valve disease symptoms can begin suddenly when a cardiac arrest will lead to weakening of the muscles of the mitral valve, breaking of the cords and presence of an infection in the heart will destroy some part of the valve. Most often there will be no symptoms especially when it is a mild form of the disease. In more severe cases the symptoms will appear and they include acute cough, exhaustion and dizziness. A person may experience increased heart rate and pain in the chest, a sensation of feeling their heartbeat (palpitations), shortness of breath that aggravates with mild to moderate activity or exercise. There can be trouble breathing and it can wake up a person after an hour or so after falling asleep at night. He might also experience excessive urination especially at night.

Diagnosis And Management If Mitral Valve Disease

A thorough history will be taken and auscultation of the chest will be done to look for functioning and condition of the heart. On auscultation a thrill or vibration might be detected over the chest area. An extra heart sound or gallop can also be present along with a distinctive murmur when you have mitral valve disease. Crackles in the lungs are also present in some cases positive with valve disease.

Physical examination will show swelling or edema in the ankles and legs, liver swelling, neck veins that are prominent. The imaging tests that will be done are CT scan, echocardiogram (transthoracic or transesophageal), cardiac angiogram or cardiac catheterization and MRI.

The treatment of mitral valve disease depends upon the severity of the symptoms and the condition and functioning of the heart. The drugs given to ease the symptoms are beta-blockers or calcium channel blockers. Blood thinners are also prescribed along with diuretics to remove excess fluid from the lungs. In severe cases valvuloplasty or surgery may be recommended to repair or replace the defective valve of the heart.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: January 19, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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