The variable echocardiographic features in aortic valve endocarditis.
The echocardiographic abnormalities in five cases of aortic valve endocarditis are described and are correlated with the anatomical appearance of the valve at the time of aortic valve replacement. These electrocardiographic findings are compared with those which have been reported previously in this condition. Thickening of the aortic leaflets in systole or multiple linear or coalescent aortic valve echoes in diastole are highly suggestive of valvular vegetations. Ruptured aortic leaflets may produce chaotic, high-frequency echo patterns which differ from those produced by vegetations. The specificity of these echocardiographic patterns is discussed.
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