Calculation of mitral regurgitant orifice area with use of a simplified proximal convergence method: initial clinical application

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2001 Mar;14(3):180-5. doi: 10.1067/mje.2001.110139.


To validate a previously proposed simplified proximal flow convergence method for calculating mitral regurgitant orifice area (ROA), a prospective study was conducted in ambulatory patients and in patients undergoing open heart surgery. Assuming a pressure difference between the left ventricle and left atrium of approximately 100 mm Hg (jet velocity [v(p)] 500 cm/s) and setting the color aliasing velocity (v(a)) to 40 cm/s, we simplified the conventional proximal convergence method formula (ROA = 2pi(r2)v(a)/v(p)) to r2/2, where r is the radius of the proximal convergence isovelocity hemisphere. For 57 ambulatory patients with a wide range of mitral regurgitant severity (1 to 4+), ROA was calculated by the conventional (x) and simplified (y) methods, demonstrating excellent accuracy (r = 0.92; P <.001; DeltaROA [y - x] = 0.004 +/- 0.08 cm2). For 24 intraoperative patients, ROA calculated by the simplified formula (y) correlated well with the pulsed Doppler-thermodilution method (x) (r = 0.84; P <.01; DeltaROA [y - x] = -0.002 +/- 0.08cm2). This simplified proximal convergence formula yields an accurate assessment of ROA for a wide range of regurgitant severity, while the time required for this measurement is shortened by half (1.5 +/- 0.5 minutes versus 3.2 +/- 0.7 minutes). This may increase the frequency of calculating ROA in the clinical laboratory.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging*
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / surgery
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Structural
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thermodilution