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Ann Card Anaesth. 2020 Jan-Mar;23(1):39-42. doi: 10.4103/aca.ACA_250_18.

Portal venous pulsatility fraction, a novel transesophageal echocardiographic marker for right ventricular dysfunction in cardiac surgical patients.

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Department of Cardiac Anaesthesiology, Sri Jayadeva Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences and Research, Jayanagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Right ventricular (RV) has a vital role in maintaining optimal tissue perfusion. Assessment of portal venous flow characteristics can be alternative and emerging technique to assess RV function.


To investigate if portal venous pulsatility fraction (PF) could serve as effective and complementary tool in identifying RV dysfunction.

Materials and Methods:

Thirty adult patients aged 18-65 years undergoing cardiac surgery under general anesthesia were enrolled in study. Intraoperative transesophageal echocardiographic examination was performed. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE), RV fractional area change (FAC), RV ejection fraction (EF), and portal vein flow pulsatility were assessed. Portal vein PF was used to quantify degree of pulsatility.


Portal vein was demonstrated in 27 patients (90%). 27 values of portal vein PF, RV EF, FAC, and TAPSE were analyzed. Portal vein PF demonstrated significant linear correlation with TAPSE (r = -0.55, P = 0.003), RV FAC (r = -0.44, P = 0.02), and RV EF (r = -0.53, P = 0.004). ROC curve was constructed to calculate sensitivity and specificity of portal vein PF for assessing RV function. Portal vein PF value of ≥45% indicated RV dysfunction with sensitivity of 92.3%, specificity of 71.4%, positive predictive value of 75%, and negative predictive value of 90.9%. Area under ROC curve was 0.819 (95% confidence interval = 0.624 - 0.939, P = 0.0006).


Portal vein PF is simple and feasible method for assessment of RV function. It complements the existing echocardiographic measures to diagnose RV dysfunction.


Portal vein pulsatility fraction; RV ejection fraction; RV fractional area change; RV function; Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion; transesophageal echocardiography

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