Detection and Diagnosis of Heart Valve Disease

Advances in technology have made it easier to pinpoint valvular heart disease earlier and more accurately.

"Echocardiograms take the mystery out of what we listen to with a stethoscope," says Paul Stelzer, MD, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery. "They tell us not just that a patient has valvular heart disease, but the extent of the disease."

Mount Sinai Cardiologists Pursue Advanced Imaging Technologies

At Mount Sinai Heart, our physicians have a strong background in the engineering and physics of cardiac imaging. David H. Adams, MD, Professor and Chair of Cardiothoracic Surgery and Program Director of the Mitral Valve Repair Reference Center, says that this high-definition imaging technology offers valuable guidance to surgeons planning valvular repair.

"The 3D echo image is so clear it is almost as if you are doing a valve analysis in the operating room," Dr. Adams says. "We can now look at the picture and say, 'Yes, I have operated on valves with this problem, and patients can be assured that their valves can be successfully repaired.'"

The new generation of three-dimensional echocardiograms, available at Mount Sinai Heart, can be strung together to create a movie of sorts that can reveal more than still images and can allow doctors to look at heart valves in a way that helps them plan potential surgical repairs.

The echocardiography laboratory, directed by Martin E. Goldman, MD, Professor of Cardiology, is staffed by physicians of such expertise and experience that they routinely participate in the training of echocardiography technicians. Mount Sinai Heart performs more than 10,000 echocardiograms annually.

Mount Sinai Heart’s expertise in imaging covers not just echocardiography but computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), as well. "Since the aorta is often affected in valve disease, we need to image it properly," Dr. Stelzer says. “CTA and MRI shed special light on the aorta."


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