Color Doppler regurgitant characteristics of normal mechanical mitral valve prostheses in vitro.
BACKGROUND To evaluate normal regurgitant characteristics of St. Jude (SJ) and Medtronic-Hall (MH) mitral valves, four sizes (25-31 mm) of each were studied in a pulsatile flow model.
METHODS AND RESULTS Regurgitant flow was measured by flowmeter at left ventricular pressures of 80, 130, and 180 mm Hg. Peak regurgitant flow rates ranged from 6.2 to 12.7 cm3/sec in SJ valves and from 7.9 to 17.5 cm3/sec in MH valves. Regurgitant orifice areas calculated from the Doppler continuity equation ranged from 1.6 to 2.0 mm2 in SJ valves and from 2.2 to 2.9 mm2 in MH valves. Regurgitant volumes across the closed valve at a left ventricular pressure of 130 mm Hg were normalized to an ejection time of 280 msec and ranged from 1.5 to 1.9 cm3 in SJ valves and from 2.1 to 2.8 cm3 in MH valves. Jets were imaged by color Doppler in six rotational planes, and jet size and morphology were compared with those of regurgitant jets from circular orifices with sizes comparable to the calculated prosthetic valve regurgitant orifices (1.1-3.1 mm2). SJ valves showed two converging jets from the pivot points, one central jet, and a variable number of peripheral jets. The mean color jet area derived from the six image planes ranged from 1.6 to 5.3 cm2. Aliasing occurred only close to the valve (maximal distance 0.5-2.0 cm). MH valves showed a large central jet with a maximal length of aliased flow between 2.0 and 5.5 cm. Depending on valve size, driving pressure, and image plane, one or two small peripheral jets were found. These jets did not show aliasing in any case. The mean color jet area ranged from 5.1 to 11.0 cm2. Jets originating from circular orifices of comparable size showed jet areas from 5.5 to 13.9 cm2 and aliasing distances from 3.3 to 7.3 cm. At similar regurgitant orifice areas, driving pressures, and regurgitant flows, the measured color areas and aliasing distances were smallest in SJ valves, larger in MH valves, and largest in simple circular orifices.
CONCLUSIONS Large, complex regurgitant jets can be found in normal closed SJ and MH valves by color Doppler, although regurgitant flow volume is minimal. Jet size and velocity distribution differs markedly between SJ valves, MH valves, and circular orifices, even with comparable driving pressure, regurgitant orifice area, and regurgitant volume. The characteristic patterns of normal regurgitation must be recognized to avoid incorrect diagnoses of pathological regurgitation in SJ and MH prosthetic valves. MH valves should not be removed solely on the basis of a central regurgitant jet with a long aliasing distance. Peripheral jets in MH valves and all jets in SJ valves should be considered normal as long as no or only minimal aliasing is present. In contrast, peripheral jets with significant aliasing may represent strong evidence of pathological regurgitation.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association