What is Mitral Disease?
The mitral valve is one of the four valves in the heart and functions as a one-way valve between the left atrium and left ventricle. Mitral valve disease most commonly manifests itself as mitral regurgitation, or "leaky valve" where significant portion of the blood goes in the wrong direction with every heartbeat. This can occur either due to inherent problems with the valve leaflets or the surrounding structure such as the mitral annulus or the ventricle itself. Less commonly the valve can become stenotic or tight where blood flow is restricted through the valve. This generally occurs following rheumatic fever or if the valve leaflet become calcified and stiff.