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Cardiology. 1995;86(3):249-56.

Reappraisal of quantitative evaluation of pulmonary regurgitation and estimation of pulmonary artery pressure by continuous wave Doppler echocardiography.

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Division of Cardiology, Poh-Ai Hospital, Lo-Tung, ROC.


This study assessed the usefulness of continuous wave Doppler echocardiography and color flow mapping in evaluating pulmonary regurgitation (PR) and estimating pulmonary artery (PA) pressure. Forty-three patients were examined, and high quality Doppler spectral recordings of PR were obtained in 32. All patients underwent cardiac catheterization, and simultaneous PA and right ventricular (RV) pressures were recorded in 17. Four Doppler regurgitant flow velocity patterns were observed: pandiastolic plateau, biphasic, peak and plateau, and early diastolic triangular types. The peak diastolic and end-diastolic PA-to-RV pressure gradients derived from the Doppler flow profiles correlated well with the catheter measurements (r = 0.95 and r = 0.95, respectively). As PA pressure increased, the PR flow velocity became higher; a linear relationship between either systolic or mean PA pressure and Doppler-derived peak diastolic pressure gradient was noted (r = 0.90 and 0.94, respectively). Based on peak diastolic gradients of < 15, 15-30 or > 30 mm Hg, patients could be separated as those with mild, moderate or severe pulmonary hypertension, respectively (p < 0.05). A correlation was also observed between PA diastolic pressure and Doppler-derived end-diastolic pressure gradient (r = 0.91). Moreover, the Doppler velocity decay slope of PR closely correlated with that derived from the catheter method (r = 0.98). The decay slope tended to be steeper with the increment in regurgitant jet area and length obtained from color flow mapping. In conclusion, continuous wave Doppler evaluation of PR is a useful means for noninvasive estimation of PA pressure, and the Doppler velocity decay slope seems to reflect the severity of PR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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