Assessment of prosthetic heart valve function by Doppler echocardiography. A decade of experience.
Since the first report of the application of Doppler echocardiography in the evaluation of prosthetic heart valves 10 years ago, dozens of studies have reaffirmed the usefulness of this technique in the noninvasive assessment of transvalvular hemodynamics. Most of these studies have established "normal values" for Doppler-determined pressure gradients and valve areas of prosthetic mitral and aortic valves. Although these studies have established the "normal range," they have all emphasized the individual variability in clinically normal functioning valves. Most of these studies have confirmed the extraordinary sensitivity and specificity of Doppler in detecting prosthetic valve dysfunction. The study by Burstow et al further emphasizes the excellent correlation obtained with simultaneous Doppler and catheter transvalvular pressure gradient measurements. The addition of both color flow Doppler techniques and transesophageal echocardiography can only serve to enhance the clinical diagnostic accuracy of this technique. At the present time, Doppler echocardiography is clearly the procedure of choice for the evaluation of the patient with suspected prosthetic heart valve dysfunction.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association