The mitral valve controls blood flow between the left atrium (upper heart chamber that receives oxygenated blood from the lungs) and the left ventricle (the heart’s main pumping chamber). It is a one-way valve that allows blood to move from the left atrium to the left ventricle, but not backward. Common mitral valve problems include:
- Mitral valve prolapse: a floppy or loose valve that might progress to leakage
- Mitral valve regurgitation: a problem that allows blood to leak backward into the left atrium and the lungs
- Mitral valve stenosis: a narrowed opening that restricts blood movement from the left atrium to the left ventricle
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