Assessment of aortic insufficiency by transcutaneous Doppler ultrasound.
Using a 2.2 MHZ directional Doppler ultrasound unit, the instantaneous peak aortic velocity pattern was recorded transcutaneously in 15 normal persons and 15 patients with aortic insufficiency. The transducer was positioned in the suprasternal notch and aimed posteriorly to cross the descending aortic arch at an angle approximately parallel to blood flow. The electrocardiogram, phonocardiogram, and carotid pulse tracings were recorded simultaneously. In patients with aortic insufficiency there was significant diastolic flow that was not present in normal persons. The planimetered area under the systolic and diastolic velocity tracings represents the distance forward and backward that the stroke volume moves. The ratio was used to approximate the percent regurgitation, which ranged from 9% to 68%. From left ventricular angiograms in the patients with aortic regurgitation single plane ventricular volume measurements were used to calculate ventricular output and when compared with the Fick cardiac output gave an estimate of true percent regurgitation. A strong correlation was obtained with the Doppler estimate (r=0.91), confirming that this simple ultrasound technique can accurately assess the degree of aortic insufficiency.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association