Mitral valve lies in between the two chambers of left side of the heart. It plays an important role in the flow of blood coming from the lungs in single direction from the left atrium to left ventricle. It opens and closes according to the contractions and relaxation of the heart muscles. If the mitral valve fails to function properly due to either too tightness or too looseness of the leaflets of the valve, it causes mitral valve disease. It usually doesn't represent any symptom. If its symptoms are present, they are chest pain, shortness of breath and many more.


What Would Happen In The Body If The Mitral Valve Was Not Functioning Properly?

Mitral valve is present in between two left chambers of the heart, left atrium and left ventricle. The main function of the valve is to maintain the flow of blood in one direction from the left atrium to left ventricle. It closes with every heartbeat and prevents the blood to flow backward.

If the mitral valve does not function properly, it may cause mitral valve disease. This will result in backflow of blood into the atrium. This will affect the functioning of the heart. The heart becomes incapable to pump blood out of the left ventricle into the aorta that supplies pure oxygenated blood to the whole body. Lack of oxygen in the body may result in fatigue and shortness of breath.


Mitral valve disease does not represent any symptom in majority of people. If it is not treated properly, it may cause serious illness like heart failure or heart attack and even cardiac death. Mitral valve disease is of following types-

Mitral Valve Prolapse

Mitral valve prolapse is a condition marked by flabbiness and looseness of the mitral valve. Due to this condition, mitral don't close tightly that leads to the leakage of the blood from left ventricle to the left atrium. It is also called click-murmur syndrome or floppy valve syndrome or Barlow's syndrome. It may close with slight leakage of some blood with a faint sound which is known as a heart murmur.


Mitral valve prolapse affects 2 to 4% population. It affects females more than males. It usually has congenital causes. It rarely represents any symptom. Its symptoms if present are breathlessness, heart palpitations, fainting, reduced stamina, heart murmurs and chest pain.

Mitral Valve Regurgitation

It is a condition marked by an improper closing of the mitral valve. This leads to backflow of blood from left ventricle into the left atrium when the heart contracts. It is caused by inflammatory diseases of heart lining or valves, heart attack or rheumatic fever. Another cause can be wear and tear or damage of cords of the mitral valve. Mitral valve prolapse can also cause mitral valve regurgitation. Its symptoms include fainting, shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

Mitral Valve Stenosis

It is a condition in which mitral valve is fused or thick or stiff, that narrow down the opening. This results in reduction in the flow of blood between the left atrium and left ventricle. This results in insufficient blood in the left ventricle.

The main cause of mitral valve stenosis is scarring and inflammation of the mitral valve. It is caused by rheumatic fever and frequent use of antibiotics. Other rare causes are congenital heart defects, calcium build up, radiation therapy, blood clots, or tumors. Its symptoms include noticeable heartbeats, breathlessness, tiredness and chest pain.

Mitral valve disease can be treated by lifestyle changes, diet modifications, and surgery. Its surgery involves valve repair and valve replacement.


Mitral valve disease is caused if mitral valve does not function properly. This leads to backflow of blood into the left atrium. Enough blood cannot pass into left ventricle which leads to less supply of oxygenated blood to rest of the body leading to fatigue, shortness of breath and other symptoms.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 5, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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