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Heart Disease Health Center

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Mitral Valve Stenosis - Exams and Tests

Mitral valve stenosis often has no symptoms in its early stages. It may not be diagnosed until you've had the disease for some time. One or more complications may lead to its diagnosis.

The first sign of mitral valve stenosis could be a heart murmur that your doctor hears during a routine checkup.

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A review of your medical history and a physical exam can help your doctor find out if you have mitral valve stenosis. Your doctor also can use them to plan your treatment.

Medical history

Your doctor will ask about your lifestyle, activity level, and family health history. Your doctor will want to know about your symptoms. He or she will ask if you have ever had:

Physical exam

During the physical exam, the doctor will:

  • Listen for a certain heart murmur and other sounds that indicate a heart valve is not working right.
  • Take your blood pressure.
  • Check your pulse.
  • Look for swelling that can be a sign of too much fluid in your body.

Echocardiogram

An echocardiogram is used to find out if you have mitral valve stenosis and to see how bad it is. Your doctor can check your heart valve and take pictures of your heart.

In transesophageal echocardiography, a device is inserted down your throat and into your esophagus to make pictures of your heart. This may be done if your doctor wants to see a different view of your heart.

You will likely have regular echocardiograms so your doctor can keep track of any changes in your condition. Your doctor may recommend an echocardiogram every 6 to 12 months if you have severe stenosis or every 3 to 5 years if you have mild to moderate stenosis.1

A stress echocardiogram may be done to see how your heart responds to exercise.

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