Expert consensus document on the assessment of the severity of aortic valve stenosis by echocardiography to provide diagnostic conclusiveness by standardized verifiable documentation

Clin Res Cardiol. 2020 Mar;109(3):271-288. doi: 10.1007/s00392-019-01539-2. Epub 2019 Sep 3.


According to recent recommendations on echocardiographic assessment of aortic valve stenosis direct measurement of transvalvular peak jet velocity, calculation of transvalvular mean gradient from the velocities using the Bernoulli equation and calculation of the effective aortic valve area by continuity equation are the appropriate primary key instruments for grading severity of aortic valve stenosis. It is obvious that no gold standard can be declared for grading the severity of aortic stenosis. Thus, conclusions of the exclusive evaluation of aortic stenosis by Doppler echocardiography seem to be questionable due to the susceptibility to errors caused by methodological limitations, mathematical simplifications and inappropriate documentation. The present paper will address practical issues of echocardiographic documentation to satisfy the needs to analyze different scenarios of aortic stenosis due to various flow conditions and pressure gradients. Transesophageal and multidimensional echocardiography should be implemented for reliable measurement of geometric aortic valve area and of cardiac dimensions at an early stage of the diagnostic procedure to avoid misinterpretation due to inconsistent results.

Keywords: Aortic stenosis; Aortic valve area; Echocardiography; Pressure gradient; Pressure recovery; Quantification.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Documentation
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods
  • Humans
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index