Diagnostic tools such as sphygmography, X-ray, electrocardiogram, cardiac catheterization and more recently echocardiography. For each technology, we have provided the developmental background and then analyzed their applications in the diagnosis of the diseases of the mitral valve. This section covers primarily an era extending from the mid 19th century to the seventh decade of the 20th century.
Disease specific approach, focuses on the development of knowledge pertaining to the specific etiologies of valvular heart disease. We have described in a chronologic manner the progres which was made in our understanding of the most common causes of mitral valve disease namely rheumatic fever, infective endocarditis, degenerative disease and ischemic cardiomyopathy.