Mitral Stenosis/Regurgitation

Amelia Heart & Vascular Center is a respected leader in vascular medicine serving the Northern Virginia area.

Mitral stenosis is when the valve that separates the upper left heart chamber and the lower left heart chamber does not open properly which will restrict blood flow to the to the left lower chamber of the heart. Mitral stenosis can lead to serious heart complications if it is left untreated.


The main cause of mitral stenosis is rheumatic fever which can thicken the valve in the heart. Calcium deposits can also build up around this valve and cause mitral stenosis as well.


A person with mitral stenosis may experience mild symptoms or may not experience any symptoms at all. The symptoms for mitral stenosis will worsen if the person’s heart rate increases like during exercise. These symptoms include

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen feet or legs
  • Fluttering heartbeat
  • Chest pain

Imaging and Diagnostics:

There are many ways for the doctor to diagnose mitral stenosis. Below are tests that the doctor may ask the patient to make a proper diagnosis

  • Transthoracic echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Chest X-ray
  • Cardiac catheterization


The treatment for mitral stenosis will vary depending on the symptoms the patient is experiencing. Below are treatment options the doctor may suggest for the patient

  • Medication
  • Percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty
  • Mitral valve surgery

Lifestyle Changes:

The doctor may suggest the patient make some lifestyle changes to improve the patient’s quality of life, these suggestions may include

  • Limit salt
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Cut back on caffeine
  • Cut back on alcohol
  • Exercise