History of Rheumatic Fever
The most common cause of mitral valve stenosis is a history of rheumatic fever, a complication of strep throat.
Rheumatic fever can damage the mitral valve, causing the valve leaflets to thicken, impairing its ability to open. Sometimes, the damage can involve the leaflets fusing together, interfering with the valve's ability to open and close. While rheumatic fever is now rare in the United States, it remains common in much of the rest of the world.
Other causes of mitral valve stenosis:
- Congenital defects
- Medications used to treat migraine headaches
- Blood clots, tumors or other growths
- Radiation treatment involving the chest area