Hemodynamic stability of valve area, valve resistance, and stroke work loss in aortic stenosis: a comparative analysis

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2002 Aug;15(8):814-22. doi: 10.1067/mje.2002.120287.


Background: Although aortic valve area (AVA) has provided the standard index for assessing aortic stenosis severity, valve resistance and percent left ventricular stroke work (%LVSW) loss have been proposed as alternative flow independent indices of stenosis severity that may provide a more stable measure under diverse hemodynamic conditions. In 30 patients with moderate or severe aortic stenosis (AVA < or = 1.2 cm(2)), Doppler echocardiography indices of AVA, valve resistance, and %LVSW loss were measured at multiple transvalvular flow rates during dobutamine infusions (0-10 microg/kg/min) to compare their hemodynamic stability.

Results: From baseline to maximum dobutamine dose in the 30 patients, transvalvular flow rate increased 43% and resulted in a 42% increase in mean transvalvular pressure gradient, a 15% increase in Doppler AVA, and a 26% increase in %LVSW loss. Group mean valve resistance did not change for the total cohort. For individual patients, AVA and %LVSW loss demonstrated a linear relationship with transvalvular flow (median r = 0.74 and 0.84, respectively). In contrast, both flow-mediated increases and decreases in valve resistance were observed in individual patients, resulting in the apparent stability of the group mean valve resistance in the total cohort. For individual patients, Doppler AVA and valve resistance demonstrated comparable stability in response to changes in hemodynamic conditions and were significantly more stable than mean transvalvular pressure gradient and %LVSW loss.

Conclusion: Doppler AVA and valve resistance provide stenotic indices of equivalent hemodynamic stability. However, transvalvular flow has a predictable directional effect on AVA and an unpredictable directional effect on valve resistance, potentially limiting valve resistance as a measure of hemodynamic severity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / pathology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology*
  • Dobutamine
  • Echocardiography, Doppler*
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology


  • Dobutamine