How Is Diastolic Dysfunction Diagnosed?


Quick Answer

Two-dimensional echocardiography with Doppler is typically used to diagnose diastolic dysfunction, and it is a more reliable method than standard echocardiography, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Cardiac catheterization is also a preferred diagnostic tool for confirming diastolic dysfunction.

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An echocardiography can detect any stiffness in the left ventricular of the heart, which is a characteristic of diastolic dysfunction, reports the International Heart Institute of Montana. An echocardiogram is useful for determining the cause of diastolic dysfunction. A physician can also use an electrocardiogram to detect muscle thickening in the left ventricular, but it cannot determine if diastolic dysfunction is the reason why the left ventricular is stiffening.

An echocardiogram provides data on the chamber size, systolic function, valves, and pericardium of the heart, reports AAFP. A two-dimensional echocardiogram with Doppler also shows the ratio of blood flow at peak velocity across the mitral valve to atrial contraction. A ratio lower than normal detects diastolic dysfunction early on, while a ratio higher than normal is indicative of severe diastolic dysfunction. A regular echocardiogram cannot determine this ratio.

Cardiac catheterization involves inserting a catheter into an artery or vein of the groin, neck or arm, and pushing the catheter all the way to the vessels of the heart, according to Mayo Clinic. Once the catheter is inserted, a physician can perform diagnostic tests with the catheter to diagnose various cardiovascular conditions, including diastolic dysfunction and angioplasty.

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