Continuing Medical Education

An approach to the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease

Blanche J Cupido, Ferande Peters, Ntobeko A B Ntusi

Abstract


Valvular heart disease poses a common yet difficult problem in everyday clinical practice. A thorough clinical evaluation with basic common
investigations such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) and a chest radiograph (CXR) remains the cornerstone of diagnosis. Echocardiography
and more invasive testing, if needed, are usually performed at specialist level to confirm the diagnosis, assess severity and assist in definitive
decision-making.
The causes and clinical, ECG and CXR features of the common valve lesions are described. Patients with symptomatic valve lesions should
be referred for specialist assessment. In most cases, medical therapy serves as a bridge to definitive mechanical or surgical therapy.


Authors' affiliations

Blanche J Cupido, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

Ferande Peters, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand and Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

Ntobeko A B Ntusi, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Valvular heart disease

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2016;106(1):39-42. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2016.v106i1.10326

Article History

Date submitted: 2015-11-10
Date published: 2015-11-26

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