Diagram of the human heart (cropped)

Diagram of the heart, with the mitral valve at center right, via Wikipedia

The mitral valve is one of the four heart valves. It's name is from its resemblance to a bishop's mitre (hat). It restricts blood flow between the left atrium and the left ventricle. When it operates normally, blood can flow from the atrium to the ventricle, but cannot flow in the opposite direction.

There are several pathologies of the mitral valve:

  • Prolapse, where the flaps of the valve are too thick.
  • Regurgitation, where the valve does not close properly and blood backs up into the atrium when the ventricle contracts.
  • Stenosis, when the opening of the valve gets smaller.

Mitral valve at Wikipedia

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