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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Diagnosing Heart Valve ProblemsDiagn³stico de problemas en las v¡lvulas del coraz³n

Diagnosing Heart Valve Problems

Your doctor will ask you questions about your family and medical history. Certain tests may be done. These help diagnose your valve problem and rule out any other disease you may have.

Doctor and patient

Listening to Your Heart

A problem with a heart valve will usually cause the heart to make a noise. Your doctor can hear this noise, called a murmur. But you can have a heart murmur and not have valve disease or any other heart problem. Other tests can help confirm the diagnosis of valve disease.

Technician and patient

Looking at Your Heart

An echocardiogram (echo) is a simple, painless test that bounces harmless sound waves off the heart. These sound waves become images on a video screen. Your doctor can then see a moving picture of your heart. This test shows how the valves work. It can confirm whether a valve is narrowed or leaking. It can also show the size of the chambers and whether your heart muscle pumps normally. A special type of echo, called a transesophageal echo (TEE), may be done as well. This test can provide even more detailed information about your heart valves. Echo testing can help your doctor monitor changes in your heart over time.

Other Tests

Your doctor may order a chest x-ray for another look at your heart and lungs. You may have an electrocardiogram, a test that shows the rhythm of the heartbeat. You may havecardiac catheterization, a test to look inside the heart. Thistest helps measure the pressure in the chambers, checks for leaky valves, and looks for problems in the heart's arteries.

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-09-15T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2006-06-07T00:00:00-06:00

Jay L. Jordan, MD, is an experienced cardiologist and internal medicine physician who provides a comprehensive range of cardiac care services in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Glendale, Burbank, Calabasas and nearby communities. Take the first step in preventing and controlling heart disease with symptoms such as angina, arrhythmias, atrial fibrillation, cardiomyopathy, carotid artery disease, chest pain, congestive heart failure, coronary vascular disease, hypertension, palpitations, shortness of breath and stroke. Call Dr. Jay L. Jordan at 310-854-5493 or request an appointment online.

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