Comparison of quantitative and semiquantitative methods for assessing mitral regurgitation by transesophageal echocardiography

Min Pu, James D. Thomas, Pieter M. Vandervoort, William J. Stewart, Delos M. Cosgrove, Brian P. Griffin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Semiquantitative grading of mitral regurgitation (MR) by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) is widely used for clinical decision making. However, the relation between semiquantitative grading by biplane or multiplane TEE and quantitative measures remains undetermined. Biplane or multiplane TEE was performed in 113 patients in the operating room. MR severity was graded from 1 to 4+ by Doppler color flow mapping. MR was quantified using the thermodilution-Doppler method as mitral regurgitant stroke volume (RSV) derived from the difference between total mitral inflow measured by pulsed Doppler and forward flow measured by thermodilution. Mitral regurgitant orifice area (ROA) was calculated by RSV divided by mitral regurgitant velocity. RSV and ROA were also calculated using the proximal isovelocity surface area method. RSV and ROA significantly correlated with the semiquantitative grading either by TEE or angiogram in a nonlinear fashion, with the best fit being given by an exponential model with correlation coefficients from 0.73 to 0.87 (p <0.001). Substantially increased RSV and ROA were observed in MR grades of ≥3+. In the same grades of 3+ or 4+ MR, the largest RSV was 4 times larger than the smallest (190 to 220 vs 44 to 45 ml), and the largest ROA (1.82 to 2.0 vs 0.26 to 0.27 cm2) was sixfold larger than the smallest. Patients with 2 to 3+ MR had significantly variable RSV and ROA (range 21 to 91 ml and 0.12 to 0.65 cm2, respectively). Color flow mapping by biplane or multiplane TEE or angiography is able to categorize precisely mild (≤2+) and severe (≥3+) MR, but cannot accurately determine actual hemodynamic load of MR in more severe degrees of MR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-70
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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