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Your doctor can diagnose a bicuspid aortic valve based on:

  • Your symptoms
  • Physical exam
  • Certain diagnostic tests

Diagnostic Tests

Your doctor may order one or more of the following tests.


This painless, noninvasive test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. An echocardiogram provides information about the size and shape of your heart, as well as how well your heart valves are functioning. The test is performed by placing a probe on your chest wall. It is the same technique used in sonograms in pregnant women.


Electrocardiogram (ECG)

This test records the heart's activity by measuring electrical currents through the heart muscle. It may show signs of heart strain or enlargement.

Transesophageal Echocardiography (TEE)

A TEE is a special type of echocardiogram where an ultrasound device is placed down the esophagus, close to the heart and aorta. It can provide clearer pictures than does a conventional echocardiogram.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan

A computerized tomography scan is an X-ray technique that gives three dimensional views of internal structures. It can show more detailed images of your aorta than an echocardiogram.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

A magnetic resonance imaging scan is a noninvasive test that uses a strong magnetic field to produce images of your heart and does not use any radiation. An MRI scan can give more detailed information about your heart and aorta than a conventional echocardiogram. Please inform your doctor about any metal that may be present in your body, such as clips from prior surgery, foreign body from trauma or other.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215