Mitral valve stenosis — or mitral stenosis — is a condition in which the heart's mitral valve is narrowed (stenotic). This abnormal valve doesn't open properly, blocking blood flow coming into your left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of your heart. Mitral valve stenosis can make you tired and short of breath, among other problems.

The main cause of mitral valve stenosis is an infection called rheumatic fever, which is related to strep infections. Rheumatic fever — now rare in the United States, but still common in developing countries — can scar the mitral valve. Left untreated, mitral valve stenosis can lead to serious heart complications.

Sep. 15, 2011

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