Noninvasive evaluation of aortic regurgitation by continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography.
Continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography was used to examine the aortic regurgitant flow velocity pattern in 32 patients with aortic regurgitation (AR) and 10 patients without AR. The aortic regurgitant flow velocity patterns, characterized by a rapid rise in flow velocity immediately after closure of the aortic valve, high peak flow velocity, and a gradual deceleration until the next aortic valve opening, were successfully obtained in 30 of the 32 patients with AR (sensitivity 94%, specificity 100%). The velocity decline was greater in patients with severe AR; thus, the slope of the velocity decline (deceleration) and the time to decline to half the peak velocity (half-time index) were measured from the flow velocity pattern. The deceleration became greater and the half-time index shortened in accordance with angiographic grading of AR (p less than .01). The deceleration and the half-time index also correlated well with the aortic regurgitant fraction (r = .79, p less than .01; r = -.89, p less than .01). Because the half-time index could be measured easily and independently of Doppler incident angle, it seemed a simple and accurate index of assessing the severity of AR. Thus continuous-wave Doppler echocardiography permitted the noninvasive evaluation of AR.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association