Limitations of the echocardiogram in diagnosing valvular vegetations in patients with mitral valve prolapse.
In order to assess the reliability of the echocardiogram in detecting valvular vegetations in patients with mitral valve prolapse (MVP), echocardiograms from 85 consecutive patients with mitral valve prolapse were reviewed. Eleven patients had thick shaggy echoes confined to the anterior mitral leaflet; eighteen patients had shaggy echoes on the posterior leaflet; and five had abnormal echoes on both the anterior and posterior leaflets. Only one patient had clinical evidence of infective endocarditis. Redundant leaflets which present multiple surfaces for the production of echoes may explain the abnormal echoes that were observed. Patients with echographic features suggesting mild prolapse less commonly exhibited shaggy leaflet echoes than those with more severe prolapse. Because a significant proportion (40%) of patients with MVP had shaggy echoes which closely resembled those seen in valvular vegetations, we feel that the echocardiogram is of limited value in diagnosing infective endocarditis in patients with mitral valve prolapse.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association