Quantitative evaluation of aortic insufficiency by continuous wave Doppler echocardiography

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986 Dec;8(6):1341-7. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(86)80306-0.


To assess the usefulness of continuous wave Doppler echocardiography in the evaluation of aortic insufficiency, the aortic regurgitant flow velocity pattern obtained with continuous wave Doppler examination was compared with the results of aortography and conventional pulsed Doppler techniques in 25 individuals with aortic insufficiency. The diastolic deceleration slope as measured from the continuous wave tracing was significantly different among subgroups of patients with mild (1.6 +/- 0.5 m/s2), moderate (2.7 +/- 0.5 m/s2) and severe (4.7 +/- 1.5 m/s2) aortic insufficiency as determined from aortography. Deceleration slopes greater than 2 m/s2 separated individuals with moderate and severe insufficiency from those with mild insufficiency. Similar findings were seen when comparing the pressure half-time method of diastolic velocity decay with the more severe grades of aortic insufficiency exhibiting the shortest pressure half-times. There was also a high correlation (r = 0.85) between the deceleration slope measured by continuous wave Doppler recordings and the grade of insufficiency as assessed by pulsed Doppler echocardiography. End-diastolic velocities correlated poorly (r = 0.28) with catheter-measured end-diastolic pressure difference between the aorta and the left ventricle. These findings demonstrate that the aortic regurgitant flow pattern by continuous wave Doppler echocardiography may be useful in quantitating the degree of aortic insufficiency by assessing the rate with which aortic and left ventricular pressures equilibrate during diastole.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / diagnosis*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortography
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged