When diagnosing tricuspid valve regurgitation, your doctor will perform a physical exam to assess your pulse and if there’s evidence of a heart murmur. Your doctor will also review your medical history and may order any of the following diagnostic tests:
- Chest X-ray is a non-invasive test that takes pictures of the heart and lungs; these can help the doctor determine if there’s a problem that is causing chest pain.
- Echocardiogram is a non-invasive test using ultrasound (sound waves) and a device called a transducer—which is placed on the surface of the chest—to create a moving picture of the heart. It shows the valve opening width and valve shape after closing, as well as the size and shape of the heart chambers and problems with pumping function.
- Electrocardiogram (EKC or ECG) is a simple non-invasive test that can be done in the doctor’s office using small adhesive pads called electrodes that are placed on the arms, legs, and chest. These electrodes are connected to a machine that detects and prints out the heart's electrical impulses, giving a 10-second snapshot of what the heart is doing right at that moment.
- MRI uses radio waves and a powerful magnetic field to produce detailed images of internal structures.
- Holter monitor is used to give a detailed analysis of the heart’s electrical activity over a period of 24 hours (1 day). For this non-invasive test, which is done at home, 4 or 5 adhesive electrodes are placed on the chest and connected to an electrical recording device that is usually worn on the belt or on a neck/shoulder strap. This device records every heartbeat for the duration of the time that it’s worn.
- Other possible tests may include: exercise stress test, special cardiac Doppler studies, and radionuclide scans