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Mitral Valve Disease

In mitral valve disease, the mitral valve, which is located between your left heart chambers doesn’t work correctly. The two main types of mitral valve disease are:

  • Mitral valve regurgitation
  • Mitral valve stenosis

Mitral valve disease has many causes. Some forms of mitral valve disease can be present at birth. Mitral valve stenosis is often caused by rheumatic fever, a complication of a strep infection that can affect the heart.

Other factors can increase the risk of developing mitral valve disease, such as:

  • Older age
  • History of certain infections that can affect the heart
  • History of certain forms of heart disease or heart attack
  • History of use of certain drugs
  • Heart conditions present at birth (congenital heart disease)
  • Radiation to the chest

Signs & Symptoms

Some people with mitral valve disease might not experience symptoms for many years. Others may experience:

  • Abnormal heart sound (heart murmur) heard through a stethoscope
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath, particularly when you have been very active or when you lie down
  • Irregular heartbeat


A Deborah Heart and Lung Center physician may order any of these tests to diagnose mitral valve disease:

  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Chest X-ray
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Exercise tests or stress tests
  • Cardiac catheterization