Echocardiography of cardiac valves in pericardial effusion.
Nine adult patients with large pericardial effusions (PE) demonstrated echocardiographic motion abnormalites of cardiac valves in systole. In four cases (Group 1), the abnormal findings consisted of prominent systolic anterior movements of the mitral valve resembling those seen in idiopathic hypertrophic subaortic stenosis. In Group 2(five cases), typical mitral valve prolapse patterns with large posterior midsystolic displacements well below the C point were observed. Additional abnormalities in Group 2 included tricuspid valve prolapse patterns (four cases), early systolic movement of the aortic valve toward closure (three cases), midsystolic notching of the pulmonary valve (two cases) and abnormal or attenuated motion of the aortic root in all patients. Marked decrease or resolution of PE resulted in complete disappearance of all the observed abnormalities. These findings appeared to be related to large fluid collections behind the left atrium and abnormal movement of the heart in the pericardial space. In the presence of PE, therefore, the echocardiographic observation of abnormal valve motion may not be clinically significant.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association