Assessment of left ventricular function in severe aortic regurgitation.
Echocardiographic (echo) measurements of left ventricular ejection phase indices--ejection fraction, percent shortening of the minor diameter (%deltaD), and velocity of circumferential fiber shortening (Vcf)--are said to be accurate reflections of their angiographic (angio) counterparts. Most studies correlating echo and angio left ventricular function parameters have included relatively few patients with aortic regurgitation. Echo and angio measurements of left ventricular ejection phase indices thus might not correlate in these patients in whom left ventricular geometry may have been altered due to the volume overload. To test this hypothesis, left ventricular ejection phase indices were determined by angiography and echocardiography and compared in 20 patients with isolated, symptomatic, severe aortic regurgitation. Ejection fraction, %deltaD, and Vcf by LAO cineangiograms and echo were uniformly higher than corresponding measurements from RAO angio, and were often normal in the presence of other indicators of significant left ventricular dysfunction. We conclude that the usual, linear echocardiographic measurement of left ventricular wall motion may not reflect significant myocardial dysfunction in patients with severe aortic regurgitation.
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