Diagnosis of Heart Valve Disease

Many patients with heart valve disease initially see their doctor because they experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness or tiredness. The doctor will discuss your symptoms in more detail, perform a physical exam, review your medical history and may consider additional tests that include:

Chest X-Ray – Produces images of your heart, lungs, blood vessels, ribs and the bones of your spine.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) – A recording of the electrical activity of your heart that shows the heart rate and rhythm to help diagnose heart valve disease.

Echocardiogram – A test that uses ultrasound or soundwaves to examine the heart. The test is performed by placing a probe on the chest that produces an image of the heart’s chambers, valves and major blood vessels along with blood flow through the heart.

Cardiac Angiogram (Heart Catheterization) – This special x-ray uses dye injected through a catheter positioned in a blood vessel to see the heart chambers, valves and blood vessels. The doctor follows the dye on x-ray to see how blood flows through your heart.