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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


CUPIDO, B J; PETERS, F  and  NTUSI, N A B. An approach to the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2016, vol.106, n.1, pp.39-42. ISSN 2078-5135.

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.

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