What is Mitral Stenosis?
The mitral valve regulates blood from the lungs to the heart's main pumping chamber ? the left ventricle. Patients with certain conditions such as a history of rheumatic fever or chest radiation can develop thickening of the valve. As the valve thickens, the flow through the valve is restricted and blood backs up into the lungs. If the restriction is severe, patients can develop elevated pressures in their lungs and abnormal heart rhythms. Patients with severe mitral stenosis may have symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath with activities or at rest, palpitation or swelling of legs.
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