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How is a leaky heart valve diagnosed?

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A doctor usually diagnoses a leaky heart valve by:

  • Listening to the heart with a stethoscope for abnormal sounds such as a heart murmur
  • Looking at the results of a heart ultrasound, also called an echocardiogram

A person’s description of symptoms along with the physical exam and echocardiogram can determine how serious a leaky heart valve is.

SOURCES:

Borgeson, D. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, 1996; vol 9: pp 832-837. Enriquez-Sarano, M. New England Journal of Medicine, 2004; vol 351: pp 1539-1546.

Otto, C. New England Journal of Medicine, 2001; vol 345: pp 740-746.

Bonow, R. Circulation, 2008; vol 118: pp e523-661.

Guenther, T. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, 2008; vol 34: pp 402-409.

Lee, J. Circulation Journal, 2010; vol 74: pp 375-380.

Libby, P. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 8th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2007.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: “Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 6, 2019

SOURCES:

Borgeson, D. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography, 1996; vol 9: pp 832-837. Enriquez-Sarano, M. New England Journal of Medicine, 2004; vol 351: pp 1539-1546.

Otto, C. New England Journal of Medicine, 2001; vol 345: pp 740-746.

Bonow, R. Circulation, 2008; vol 118: pp e523-661.

Guenther, T. European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery, 2008; vol 34: pp 402-409.

Lee, J. Circulation Journal, 2010; vol 74: pp 375-380.

Libby, P. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 8th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2007.

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin: “Anatomy and Function of the Heart Valves.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on November 6, 2019

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What are the symptoms of a leaky heart valve?

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