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Circulation. 2001 Aug 28;104(9):976-8.

Annulus paradoxus: transmitral flow velocity to mitral annular velocity ratio is inversely proportional to pulmonary capillary wedge pressure in patients with constrictive pericarditis.

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  • 1Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



The early diastolic velocity of the mitral annulus (E') is reduced in patients with diastolic dysfunction and increased filling pressures. Because transmitral inflow early velocity (E) increases progressively with higher filling pressures, E/E' has been shown to have a strong positive relationship with pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP) and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. However, previous studies have primarily involved patients without a pericardial abnormality. In constrictive pericarditis (CP), E' is not reduced, despite increased filling pressures. This study evaluated the relationship between E/E' and PCWP in patients with CP.


We studied 10 patients (8 men; mean age, 64+/-7 years) with surgically confirmed CP. Doppler echocardiography was performed to measure early and late diastolic transmitral flow velocities. Tissue Doppler echocardiography was performed to measure E'. PCWP was measured with right heart catheterization. All patients were in sinus rhythm. Mean E and E' were 91+/-15 cm/s and 11+/-4 cm/s, respectively. Mean PCWP was 25+/-6 mm Hg. E' was positively correlated with PCWP (r=0.69, P=0.027). There was a significant inverse correlation between E/E' and PCWP (r=-0.74, P=0.014). Despite high left ventricular filling pressures, E/E' (mean, 9+/-4) was <15 in all but 1 patient.


Paradoxical to the positive correlation between E/E' and PCWP in patients with myocardial disease, an inverse relationship was found in patients with CP.

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