In normal adults, the area of the mitral valve orifice is 4–6 cm2. In the presence of significant obstruction, i.e., when the orifice area is reduced to < ~2 cm2, blood can flow from the LA to the left ventricle (LV) only if propelled by an abnormally elevated left atrioventricular pressure gradient , the hemodynamic hallmark of MS. When the mitral valve opening is reduced to <1 cm2, often referred to as “severe” MS, a LA pressure of ~25 mmHg is required to maintain a normal cardiac output (CO). The elevated pulmonary venous and pulmonary arterial (PA) wedge pressures reduce pulmonary compliance, contributing to exertional dyspnea. The first bouts of dyspnea are usually precipitated by clinical events that increase the rate of blood flow across the mitral orifice, resulting in further elevation of the LA pressure (see below).
To assess the severity of obstruction hemodynamically, both the transvalvular pressure gradient and the flow rate must be measured . The latter depends not only on the CO but on the heart rate as well. An increase in heart rate shortens diastole proportionately more than systole and diminishes the time available for flow across the mitral valve. Therefore, at any given level of CO, tachycardia including that associated with AF augments the transvalvular pressure gradient and elevates further the LA pressure. Similar considerations apply to the pathophysiology of tricuspid stenosis.
The LV diastolic pressure and ejection fraction (EF) are normal in isolated MS. In MS and sinus rhythm, the elevated LA and PA wedge pressures exhibit a prominent atrial contraction (a wave) and a gradual pressure decline after mitral valve opening (y descent) (see Fig. 223-2). In severe MS and whenever pulmonary vascular resistance is significantly increased, the pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP) is elevated at rest and rises further during exercise, often causing secondary elevations of right ventricular (RV) end-diastolic pressure and volume.
Etiology,Natural History,Pathophysiology,Symptoms,Signs of Mitral Stenosis
Valvular Heart Disease Mitral Stenosis
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