Heart Diagnostic Services
Below is a list of heart diagnostic services that we offer at The Valve Clinic
By checking the symptoms, your doctor might hint at heart valve disease. However, for confirming the same, various heart diagnostic services are carried out on the patient. Mentioned below are a list of such tests and diagnostics:
Images of the heart, bones of the chest and lungs can be viewed in a chest x-ray. The inside structures of the heart cannot be viewed, just the overall shape of the heart. The size, location and shape of the lungs, heart and blood vessels can also be seen. There are times when valve issues cause changes in the shape of the heart. Calcium build ups can also be seen on the valves or in the heart and these deposits can often be seen on the x-rays.
Echocardiography is the best test when diagnosing heart valve ailments. Here, sound waves are used for creating a moving picture of the heart when it beats. A transducer is placed on the chest surface. In echocardiography, the shape and size of the heart chambers and valves can be seen. Also, one can see how well the heart is pumping blood along with if a valve is narrow or has some kind of backflow.
An EKG helps in detecting and recording the electrical activity of the heart. If there is an irregular heartbeat or symptoms of any previous heart attack, it can be detected with EKG. It can also depict if the chambers of the heart are enlarged.
Also known as the treadmill test, the stress test has been proved to be very safe even for patients who have strong symptoms of severe aortic stenosis. If a patient has heart valve ailments, it can be easily diagnosed here. The treadmill test helps in evaluating changes in blood pressure, heart rate and symptoms. In case there is a heart murmur, the doctor can take note of any kinds of changes that might be seen in the murmur during exercise.
In cardiac MRI, powerful magnet and radio waves are used for making detailed images of the heart. The MRI image provides confirmed information about defects in the valve. Before that, a cardiac CT scan might also be done in which multiple x-ray images are captured for creating a cross-sectional image of the lungs and the heart without puncturing the skin for inserting catheters.
Cardiac catheterization provides data regarding narrow heart valves, leaky heart valves or blood, which is not flowing through the heart in the manner it should. It also helps in measuring blood pressure in the heart and oxygen levels in the blood. In the case of patients with heart diseases, a cardiac catheter can help in evaluating heart muscle function when blood moves through each chamber of the heart. Most importantly, it helps in determining the best course of treatment. This is a minimally invasive procedure, which helps in confirming if there is any heart valve condition.
Only after confirmation from these tests, the decision of heart valve surgery is taken by surgeons for treating heart valve problems.