Aortic Stenosis Diagnosis

Aortic stenosis may be detected when your doctor notices a heart murmur at a routine check-up. A murmur can be an indication of turbulent blood flow across an abnormal valve.

If you need evaluation and expert care for your condition, your physician may refer you to a cardiologist at Fletcher Allen. The cardiologist will thoroughly assess your problem, order tests and make a diagnosis. 

Diagnosing Aortic Stenosis 

Fletcher Allen’s cardiac imaging specialists are specially trained in the latest technology to diagnose diseases of the heart valves. The process of diagnosis may involve the following:

  • Chest X-ray – A chest x-ray shows the size and shape of your heart and major blood vessels, as well as the condition of your lungs. It can help determine if your left ventricle is enlarged, which may be a sign of aortic stenosis. A chest x-ray also can help identify calcium build-up on the valve.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG) – This test records the electrical activity of your heart through electrodes attached to your skin. An ECG may help determine if the left ventricle is enlarged, a possible sign of aortic stenosis.
  • Echocardiogram – This test, an ultrasound of the heart, uses sound waves to create a live video image of your heart. It is a safe and non-invasive way to look at the heart’s pumping function and at the heart valves, as well as the vessels in the chest. An echocardiogram can be used to examine the aortic valve for any dysfunction that might be present.
  • Coronary catheterization or angiogram – To get a better view of blood flow in your heart, an interventional cardiologist may inject dye into your coronary arteries. The dye is injected through a long, thin tube called a catheter, which is threaded through an artery in your leg or wrist to the heart. The dye is then visible on x-ray and video, helping to identify blocked or narrowed arteries.  This test is used to identify any blockages that may exist along with aortic stenosis.  At the same time, the interventional cardiologist may assess severity of the aortic valve blockage by measuring pressures in your heart.

Aortic Stenosis Treatment

Once we obtain a diagnosis, we will create an individualized treatment plan designed specifically for you. For more information on aortic stenosis or treatment call us at 802-847-2862 or find a Fletcher Allen physician.