Mitral stenosis natural history, complications and prognosis
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After the initial episode of rheumatic fever, there is a latent period of 20 years before the onset of symptoms in mitral stenosis. Complications of mitral stenosis are left and right heart failure, endocarditis and embolization (stroke) and pulmonary embolism. Survival in asymptomatic patients is 80% at 10 years. Once symptoms develop, if mitral stenosis is left untreated, survival at 10 years is only 15%. The majority of patients die due to complications of pulmonary hypertension (which is associated with a mean survival of 3 years after its onset) and right heart failure.
The natural history of mitral stenosis secondary to rheumatic fever (the most common cause) is an asymptomatic latent phase following the initial episode of rheumatic fever. This latent period lasts an average of 16.3 ± 5.2 years. Once symptoms of mitral stenosis begin to develop, progression to severe disability takes 9.2 ± 4.3 years. In some areas of the developing world, the rate of progression is more rapid due to repeated infections, poorer treatment of the infections, or more virulent infections and the patient may be symptomatic as early as the late teens. Death from mitral stenosis is due to the progressive increase in pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, pulmonary hypertension, and subsequent right-sided heart failure. This is the cause of death in 60 percent of mitral stenosis cases that are not treated. Other less frequent causes of death include:
- Complications of mitral stenosis are left and right heart failure, endocarditis, and embolization.
- Shown below is a list of the manifestations of the complications of mitral stenosis:
Symptomatic Patients Without Treatment
Presence of Pulmonary Hypertension
In the presence of pulmonary hypertension, the mean survival is less than 3 years.
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