Which physical factors determine tricuspid regurgitation jet area in the clinical setting?

J. Miguel Rivera*, Pieter M. Vandervoort, J. Antonio Vazquez de Prada, Donato Mele, Tom H. Karson, Annitta Morehead, Eleanor Morris, Arthur Weyman, James D. Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


The visual assessment of jet area has become the most common method used in daily clinical practice to evaluate valvular regurgitation. Despite the high prevalence of tricuspid regurgitation, however, few studies have systematically compared TR jet areas with a quantitative standard. To evaluate this, 40 patients in sinus rhythm with tricuspid regurgitation were analyzed: 16 with centrally directed free jets and 24 with impinging wall jets. The size of the maximal planimetered color jet area (cm2) was compared with parameters derived using the pulsed Doppler 2-dimensional echocardiographic method: regurgitant fraction and the flow convergence method (peak flow rate, effective regurgitant orifice area and momentum). Mean tricuspid regurgitant fraction averaged 33 ± 15%, peak flow rate 76 ± 54 cm3/s, effective regurgitant orifice area 27 ± 21 mm2 and momentum 21,717 ± 15,014 cm4/s2. An average of 4-chamber, and long- and short-axis areas in free jets correlated well with regurgitant fraction (r = 0.81, p < 0.001), better with peak flow rate (r = 0.94, p < 0.001), effective regurgitant orifice (r = 0.92, p < 0.001) and momentum (r = 0.94, p < 0.001). The correlation was worse, but still significant, in wall jets. For the same peak flow rate, wall jets were 75% of the size of a corresponding free jet. Jet area measurement is a good semiquantitative tool to measure tricuspid regurgitation in free jets, which correlates well with regurgitant fraction and better with new parameters available from analysis of the proximal acceleration field. In patients with eccentrically directed wall jets the correlation with planimetered jet area was worse, but still significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1305-1309
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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