How is pulmonary artery stenosis diagnosed?

During a routine examination, your child’s doctor may hear abnormal heart sounds (a murmur) when listening to the heart. If abnormal sounds are identified, your doctor will order other tests that can include:

  • An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) – a test that records the electrical changes that occur during a heartbeat; reveals abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and detects heart muscle stress.
  • Chest X-ray – a test to show the size and shape of the heart and lungs and pulmonary arteries.
  • An echocardiogram – a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the heart’s internal structures.
  • Doppler ultrasound – a test that uses sound waves to measure blood flow; usually combined with echocardiogram to evaluate both the internal structure of the heart and blood flow across the heart’s valves and vessels.
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – a test that uses three-dimensional imaging to reveal how blood flows through the heart and vessels and how the heart is working.
  • CT scan – an x-ray procedure that combines many x-ray images with the aid of a computer to generate cross-sectional views of the heart. Cardiac CT uses the advanced CT technology with intravenous (IV) contrast (dye) to visualize cardiac anatomy, coronary circulation, and great vessels.
  • Cardiac catheterization – a procedure that involves inserting a thin tube (a catheter) into a vein or artery and passing it into the heart to sample the level of oxygen, measure pressure changes, and make x-ray movies of the heart and its internal structures.
  • Pulmonary angiography – a dye-enhanced x-ray of the pulmonary arteries and veins of the heart.
  • Perfusion scan – a test in which the patient is injected with a small amount of a radioactive material. A special machine shows how well blood is flowing through each of the two lungs.

Additional tests may be ordered as necessary.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/21/2019.


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