Diagnosis, tests & Treatment
Specific types of valvular heart disease are diagnosed using electrocardiography (EKG), echocardiography, certain x-ray studies, and/or cardiac catheterization.
An EKG provides a record of electrical changes in the heart muscle during the heartbeat. Echocardiography uses sound waves to make images of the heart. These images can show if there are any abnormalities of the heart valves.
Cardiac catheterization is a procedure in which a small tube (called a catheter) is inserted into an artery and passed into the heart. It is used to measure pressure in the heart and the amount of blood pumped by the heart.
The treatment of specific valvular heart diseases will vary, depending on the valve involved and the extent of damage or malfunction. Some patients will not require treatment and many will be treated with medication. Sometimes, patients need surgery. If multivalvular disease is suspected or involved, different valves may be evaluated during surgery on one of the affected valves.