Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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At Mayo Clinic, doctors with training in heart disease (cardiologists) and other specialists work closely as a team to diagnose tricuspid valve disease.

Your cardiologist will discuss your symptoms, review your family medical history, conduct a physical examination and order several tests to diagnose tricuspid valve disease and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Chest X-ray. Using a chest X-ray, your doctor studies the size and shape of your heart and evaluates your lungs.
  • Echocardiogram (Doppler echocardiogram). In this test, sound waves produce detailed images of your heart. This test assesses the structure of your heart, the tricuspid valve and the blood flow through your heart. Your doctor also may order a 3-D echocardiogram.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG). In this test, sensor patches with wires attached (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses given off by your heart. An ECG detects any abnormal heart rhythm.
  • Electrophysiology tests. Your doctor may conduct electrophysiology tests if you have an abnormal heart rhythm. In an electrophysiology test, a doctor inserts long, thin tubes (catheters) with sensors (electrodes) at the tips into an artery in your groin and threads them to your heart using X-ray imaging. The electrodes can precisely map the spread of electrical impulses through your heart.
  • Exercise tests or stress tests. Different exercise tests help measure your activity tolerance and monitor your heart's response to physical exertion. If you are unable to exercise, medications to mimic the effect of exercise on your heart may be used.
  • Holter monitor. A Holter monitor is a portable ECG device you wear for a day or more to record your heart's electrical activity during your daily routine.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of your heart.
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram. In this test, your doctor inserts a tube with a tiny sound device (transducer) into the part of your digestive tract that runs from your throat to your stomach (esophagus). Because the esophagus lies close to your heart, the transducer provides a more detailed image of your heart. This test is sometimes done to look for other problems in the heart that might cause tricuspid regurgitation, such as a hole between the upper chambers (atrial septal defect).

Read more about chest X-ray, CT scan, echocardiogram, electrocardiogram, stress test, Holter monitor and MRI.

Nov. 20, 2012

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