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Pediatric Mitral Stenosis

What is Pediatric Mitral Stenosis?

Pediatric mitral stenosis is a heart condition that occurs when the mitral valve of the heart is narrowed or obstructed, reducing blood flow and causing strain on the heart. When the mitral valve is healthy, two tiny flaps of skin (leaflets) regulate blood flow like a one-way street. Oxygen-rich blood collects in the left atrium (the top left of the heart) and is pumped out into the body. With pediatric mitral stenosis, the mitral valve is narrowed, decreasing the amount of blood pumped through the valve each time the heart beats. This causes the heart to work harder, and it can weaken the muscle over time.

A narrowed mitral valve may be present at birth (congenital) or may appear later in life (acquired) due to rheumatic fever (a complication of strep throat), or in rare cases, it can be caused by autoimmune diseases like lupus. In most cases, the cause is unknown. The level of blockage can vary and become worse over time.

mitral stenosis showing normal mitral valve and stenosed mitral valve in the heart

What are the signs and symptoms of Pediatric Mitral Stenosis?

Critical stenosis in infants (birth to 1 year*)

  • Weak pulse
  • Rapid breathing
  • Decreased feeding
  • Sweating
  • Lethargy (exhaustion)
  • Irritability
  • In extreme cases, congestive heart failure

Birth to 19-years old**

  • Difficulty Weak pulse
  • Difficulty Exercise-related chest pain
  • Difficulty Fainting
  • Difficulty Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Difficulty Shortness of breath, or frequent coughing/wheezing
  • Difficulty Rapid or irregular heartbeat (palpitations or heart murmur)
  • Difficulty Frequent respiratory infections
  • Difficulty Blood clots

Difficulty *Age limit of infants defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).
**Age limit of pediatric/child age group defined by the WHO.