How is double inlet left ventricle diagnosed?
Advancements in the care of pregnant women and accurate assessment of the heart in the developing fetus, many of these patients are now diagnosed before they are born. This allows for proper counseling for the family and preparations being made for when and where the baby is delivered as well as multiple visits to assess the health of the baby prior to delivery. After birth, the doctor will perform a physical examination and listen to the baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope and the baby’s vital signs will be assessed. The doctor may also order various tests, including:
- An electrocardiogram to measure the heart’s electrical activity.
- An echocardiogram, or ultrasound imaging of the heart using sound waves.
- A cardiac catheterization may be performed in some cases. This is a procedure performed under anesthesia in which slender tubes are inserted into blood vessels in the groin and moved toward the heart to measure the function of the heart and blood flow in the heart and lung.
- Sometimes additional imaging such as CT scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed to assess anatomy and function.