How are Valve and Structural Heart Conditions Diagnosed?

Early diagnosis is crucial for effectively treating and managing serious heart conditions. Our valve and structural heart specialists take a comprehensive approach to diagnosis. We conduct an in-depth evaluation of each patient, beginning with a complete physical exam, and use the latest, most advanced technology to identify the underlying cause of the valve or structural heart disease. Through our state-of-the-art Cardiac Imaging Center, we offer the following diagnostic services:


Three-dimensional echocardiogram Three-dimensional echocardiogram. Echocardiograms help physicians assess heart function, anatomy, and blood flow.

Echocardiograms are painless tests that use sound waves to show the heart's structure and function. University of Chicago Medicine specialists have been instrumental in the development of three-dimensional echocardiography, an advanced heart-imaging technique that enables an in-depth analysis of the heart's functionality. Learn more echocardiography.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

Computed tomography (CT) is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that provides a detailed image of the heart. By using the most advanced technology, we are able to examine high-quality images of the heart and its surrounding blood vessels for a thorough evaluation of any heart conditions. Learn more about CT scans.

Cardiac MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging provides a detailed look at the beating heart. This allows our physicians to inspect the structure and function of the heart and readily identify any tissue damage. Learn more about MRIs.

Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear imaging studies are tests that study blood flow and heart function through the use of sophisticated molecular imaging tools and radionuclide dyes. Learn more about nuclear imaging.

Cardiac Catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive procedure used to evaluate heart functionality. During catheterization, a thin tube is inserted through the groin or arm and guided through the blood vessels to the heart. Dye is injected into the heart and surrounding vessels that can be seen with an x-ray so blood flow and valve function can be assessed. Learn more about cardiac catheterization.