Understanding Common Mitral Valve Problems
The mitral valve is responsible for stopping and starting the blood flow between the left atrium and the left ventricle. A few mitral valve problems commonly seen by cardiologists include mitral valve prolapse, mitral valve regurgitation, and mitral stenosis.
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Often referred to as MVP, mitral valve prolapse is a condition in which the mitral valve’s two flaps fail to close evenly or smoothly. In many cases, MVP is caused by benign growths of collagen that develop on the flaps. This condition is often harmless, but treatment may be required in some cases. For individuals who do experience symptoms, the condition is described as mitral valve syndrome and is associated with dizziness, fatigue, chest pain, heart palpitations, and shortness of breath.
Mitral Valve Regurgitation
This condition occurs when blood leaks backward through the mitral valve with every contraction of the left ventricle. Mitral valve regurgitation can lead to increased pressure and blood volume in the area, and severe cases can result in fluid buildup in the lungs, heart palpitations, or heart failure. Because it tends to enlarge the left atrium, this condition may be linked to the development of atrial fibrillation, a problem that reduces the heart’s pumping efficiency.
Caused by a blockage or narrowing of the mitral valve, mitral stenosis occurs when blood is forced to back up into the heart’s left atrium instead of flowing smoothly into the left ventricle. In many cases, patients suffering from mitral stenosis were diagnosed with rheumatic fever as a child. This condition can also be caused by any health condition that narrows the mitral valve. Symptoms of mitral stenosis can include difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain, heart palpitations, and frequent respiratory infections. Some people may also experience edema or fatigue.
If you’re looking for treatment for heart disease in Phoenix, call Cardiac Solutions today at (623) 876-8816. Our cardiologists have provided the West Valley area with exceptional cardiac care since 1984, and we now have four convenient clinics that are located in Glendale, Avondale, Sun City West, and Peoria.