Several tests are used to diagnose the presence and severity of mitral valve regurgitation.

A physical exam may detect:

  • Bulging neck veins
  • Enlarged liver
  • Swelling in the legs and ankles

Using a stethoscope, a healthcare provider will listen for:

  • Crackles in the lungs
  • Extra heartbeat
  • Heart murmur

A cardiac computerized tomography (CT) scan uses X-ray images taken from many angles to create a 3D view of your heart. Using cardiac CT, doctors can evaluate your heart valves’ structure and locate blockages that prevent the valves from opening or closing correctly.

A transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) can confirm a diagnosis of mitral valve regurgitation. For the test, electrodes placed on your chest monitor the heartbeat while an ultrasound delivers pictures for the physician’s review.

A transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) is an alternative way to perform an echocardiogram. In this type of echo, a flexible tube is inserted down your throat into the esophagus. This angle can provide a more detailed picture of your heart and blood vessels around it.

Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnets to create detailed images of your heart’s structure and show blood flow and heart valve function. Using cardiac MRI, your physician can diagnose heart valve disease by evaluating leaky or narrowed valves.