The assessment of mitral stenosis and prosthetic mitral valve obstruction, using the posterior aortic wall echocardiogram.
The echocardiographic motion of the aortic root reflects, in part, left atrial filling and emptying. Patients with mitral valve obstruction were studied to determine whether clinically important alterations in patterns of left atrial emptying would alter motion of the posterior aortic wall. Patients with mitral stenosis had a characteristic pattern of slowing of left atrial emptying in early diastole, with loss of the conduit phase in mid-diastole. The atrial emptying index, defined as the fraction of passive posterior aortic wall motion occurring in the first third of diastole, was significantly related to the mitral valve area index (r = 0.86), and thus provides a noninvasive quantitation of the degree of mitral stenosis. Determination of the atrial emptying index also proved useful in the evaluation of patients with prosthetic mitral valve obstruction and in documenting improvement in left atrial emptying after mitral valve surgery.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association