Signs and symptoms of heart valve disorders
Learn the signs and symptoms of heart valve disorders.
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Symptoms of heart valve disorders include:
- shortness of breath
- swollen ankles or feet
- chest pain or pressure
- a fast pounding heartbeat or an irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
Your health care provider may recommend testing if they hear unusual sounds or murmurs when listening to your heart with a stethoscope.
Your health care provider can diagnose a heart valve disorder based on the symptoms you describe and a physical exam.
A valve that does not work properly often makes the clear sound of a heart murmur. Your health care provider can hear this with a stethoscope.
Tests that can help with the diagnosis include:
- chest X-ray
- electrocardiogram, which is a graph of the heart’s electrical activity
- echocardiogram, which uses sound waves (ultrasound) to make a picture of your heart
- cardiac catheterization, which inserts a thin, flexible tube called a catheter into a large blood vessel leading to your heart and:
- measures the pressure and blood flow in your heart
- evaluates your heart muscle function for moving blood through each chamber
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