Echocardiographic assessment of the level of cardiac compensation in valvular heart disease.
The level of cardiac compensation in valvular disease was studied by relating echocardiographic and cardiac catheterization measurements. Three groups -- compensated, intermediately compensated, and decompensated -- were defined according to the left ventricular angiographic pattern and cardiac output. The echocardiographic ejection indices, percent left ventricular minor diameter shortening, ejection fraction, and fiber shortening rate were significantly higher than normal in compensated mitral regurgitation, lower then normal in compensated aortic stenosis, and within normal limits in compensated aortic insufficiency. In the decomposed state these indices were depressed. Intermediate compensation was best recognized by combining several echocardiographic variables into an echocardiographic score based on multivariate discriminant function analysis. Thus, the compensated volume overload states (aortic and mitral regurgitation) and pressure overload state (aortic stenosis) have separate sets of "normal" echocardiographic values; low ejection indices characterize the decompensated group, while recognition of intermediate compensation requires analysis of multiple echocardiographic variables.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association