Color Doppler images of aortic regurgitation (AR) flow acceleration, flow convergence (FC), and the vena contracta (VC) have been reported to be useful for evaluating severity of AR. However, clinical application of these methods has been limited because of the difficulty in clearly imaging the FC and VC. This study aimed to explore new windows for imaging the FC and VC to evaluate AR volumes in patients and to validate this in animals with chronic AR. Forty patients with AR and 17 hemodynamic states in 4 sheep with strictly quantified AR volumes were evaluated. A Toshiba SSH 380A with a 3.75-MHz transducer was used to image the FC and VC. After routine echo Doppler imaging, patients were repositioned in the right lateral decubitus position, and the FC and VC were imaged from high right parasternal windows. In only 15 of the 40 patients was it possible to image clearly and measure accurately the FC and VC from conventional (left decubitus) a pical or parasternal views. In contrast, 31 of 40 patients had clearly imaged FC regions and VCs using the new windows. In patients, AR volumes derived from the FC and VC methods combined with continuous velocity agreed well with each other (r = 0.97, mean difference = -7.9 ml ± 9.9 ml/beat). In chronic animal model studies, AR volumes derived from both the VC and the FC agreed well with the electromagnetically derived AR volumes (r = 0.92, mean difference = -1.3 ± 4.0 ml/beat). By imaging from high right parasternal windows in the right decubitus position, complementary use of the FC and VC methods can provide clinically valuable information about AR volumes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine