Mitral Valve Stenosis | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of mitral stenosis?

Many children with mitral valve stenosis show no outward signs, since they are in the mild to moderate stages of the condition and their symptoms have not yet progressed to a more serious level. The only identifiable symptoms, in most cases, are rapid breathing, slow growth/weight gain or a soft heart murmur.

As mitral valve stenosis progresses, children may show more symptoms:

  • rapid or labored breathing
  • frequent coughing or wheezing
  • slow growth/weight gain
  • feeding difficulties
  • fatigue
  • frequent respiratory infections
  • irregular heartbeats or heart palpitations
  • chest pain
  • difficulty exercising

You should seek treatment from a qualified medical professional right away if you notice any of these warning signs in your child.

What is the cause of mitral stenosis?

Often, mitral valve stenosis is caused by a heart defect present at birth. Children can also develop mitral stenosis as a complication of rheumatic fever, though the disease is rare in the U.S. Children with more advanced mitral stenosis are likely to require interventional catheterization or valve surgery; however, some don’t need any immediate treatment. Many children do very well for a long time with regular monitoring by their treatment team.

Mitral valve stenosis can affect each child differently. Your physician is the best resource for providing detailed information about your child’s individual situation and making recommendations about the treatment plan that best meets the needs of your child and your entire family.