Abnormal left ventricular intracavitary flow acceleration in patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis. A marker for high postoperative morbidity and mortality.
BACKGROUND We examined the clinical and echocardiographic characteristics of patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis whose continuous wave Doppler studies showed abnormal intracavitary flow acceleration.
METHODS AND RESULTS The clinical and Doppler echocardiographic records of 53 consecutive patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis were reviewed. Doppler echocardiography was performed at a mean of 6.6 days (range, 0-22 days) after surgery. Thirteen patients (group 1) had a dagger-shaped high-velocity systolic flow signal indicative of abnormal intracavitary flow acceleration on their postoperative Doppler study; group 2 comprised 40 aortic stenosis patients who underwent aortic valve replacement but had no postoperative evidence of abnormal intracavitary flow acceleration. Group 1 postoperative abnormal intracavitary flow velocities ranged from 1.8 to 6.8 m/sec (mean, 4.9 +/- 0.9 m/sec): Resulting dynamic gradients ranged from 10 to 184 mm Hg (mean, 104.6 +/- 32 mm Hg). Compared with group 2, group 1 patients had a distinctive ventricular geometry with more-pronounced hypertrophy, smaller cavities, and higher ejection fraction. Systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve did not accompany abnormal intracavitary flow acceleration in any patient. Six of 13 group 1 patients suffered postoperative hemodynamic compromise characterized by severe hypotension despite adequate pulmonary capillary wedge pressures; group 1 postoperative mortality was significantly greater than that seen in group 2 patients (38% versus 12%, p less than 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS Abnormal intracavitary flow acceleration after aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis is associated with a distinctive ventricular geometry and supernormal systolic function but not systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve. Such flow acceleration appears to be a marker for increased postoperative morbidity and mortality. Preoperative and postoperative Doppler echocardiography may be useful in risk stratification and guiding therapy.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association