Tricuspid valve regurgitation often has no symptoms, and you may be diagnosed incidentally when having tests for other conditions.
If you are having symptoms that suggest a heart condition, your doctor may review your medical history and conduct a physical examination.
Your doctor may order several tests to diagnose tricuspid valve regurgitation, determine the severity and cause of your condition, and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Tests may include:
This is the main test used to diagnose tricuspid valve regurgitation. In this test, sound waves produce detailed images of your heart. This test assesses the structure of your heart, the tricuspid valve and the blood flow through your heart. Your doctor also may order a 3-D echocardiogram.
Your doctor may also order a transesophageal echocardiogram. In this test, a doctor inserts a tube with a tiny sound device (transducer) into the part of your digestive tract that runs from your throat to your stomach (esophagus). Because the esophagus lies close to your heart, the transducer provides a detailed image of your heart.
A cardiac MRI uses magnetic fields and radio waves to create detailed images of your heart. This test may be used to determine the severity of your condition and assess the size and function of your lower right heart chamber (right ventricle).
In this test, sensor patches with wires attached (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses given off by your heart. An ECG can detect enlarged chambers of your heart, heart disease and abnormal heart rhythms.
In a chest X-ray, your doctor studies the size and shape of your heart and evaluates your lungs.
Exercise tests or stress tests
Different exercise tests help measure your activity tolerance and monitor your heart's response to physical exertion. If you are unable to exercise, medications to mimic the effect of exercise on your heart may be used.
Doctors rarely use this test to diagnose tricuspid valve regurgitation. However, in some cases doctors may order it to determine certain causes of tricuspid valve regurgitation and to help decide on treatment.
In this procedure, doctors insert a long, thin tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in your groin, arm or neck and guide it to your heart using X-ray imaging. A special dye injected through the catheter helps your doctor see the blood flow through your heart, blood vessels and valves, and allows your doctor to check for abnormalities inside the heart and lungs. The pressure in the heart chambers and blood vessels can also be checked during this procedure.