The South Carolina Heart Valve Center

Diagnosing Valve Disease

Heart valve disease may be suspected in routine physical exams, when a physician listens to the heartbeat with a stethoscope, measures the pulse and blood pressure and takes blood tests.  A characteristic heart murmur (abnormal sounds in the heart due to turbulent blood flow) can often indicate a valve problem. To further define the type of valve disease and extent of the valve damage, physicians may use any of the following diagnostic procedures:

  • Chest X-Ray
  • Holter Monitoring
  • Echocardiogram
  • Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)
  • Transthoracic Echocardiogram (TTE)
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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