Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Pulmonary valve stenosis is often diagnosed in childhood, but sometimes it isn't detected until later in life. If your doctor hears a heart murmur during a routine checkup and suspects pulmonary stenosis, he or she may then use a variety of tests to confirm the diagnosis.

  • Electrocardiogram. During this procedure, patches with wires (electrodes) are placed on your chest, wrists and ankles. The electrodes measure electrical activity in your heart, which is recorded on paper. This test helps determine if the muscular wall of your right ventricle is thickened (ventricular hypertrophy).
  • Echocardiography. Sound waves bounce off your heart and produce moving images that can be viewed on a video screen. This test is useful for checking the structure of the pulmonary valve, the location and severity of the narrowing (stenosis), and right ventricle function.
  • Other imaging tests. MRI and CT scans are sometimes used to confirm the diagnosis of pulmonary valve stenosis.
  • Cardiac catheterization. During this procedure, your doctor inserts a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into an artery or vein in your groin and weaves it up to your heart or blood vessels. A dye injected through the catheter makes your blood vessels visible on X-ray. Doctors also use cardiac catheterization to measure the blood pressure in the heart chambers and blood vessels.

    Doctors generally use this test only if they suspect that you or your child will need balloon valvuloplasty, a procedure that can be done at the same time as cardiac catheterization.

Dec. 04, 2014

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