Semiquantitative grading of severity of mitral regurgitation by real-time two-dimensional Doppler flow imaging technique

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986 Jan;7(1):82-8. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(86)80263-7.


An attempt was made to determine whether mitral regurgitation could be detected and its severity evaluated semiquantitatively by newly developed real-time two-dimensional Doppler flow imaging in 109 patients who underwent left ventriculography. In the Doppler flow imaging technique, Doppler signals due to blood flow in the cardiac chambers are processed using a high speed autocorrelation technique, so that the direction, velocity and turbulence of the intracardiac blood flow are displayed in the color-coded mode on the monochrome B-mode echocardiogram in real time. Mitral regurgitant flow was imaged as a jet spurting out from the mitral valve orifice into the left atrial cavity. It was noted that the regurgitant jet in the left atrial cavity had a variety of orientations and dynamic features when studied by the present technique. The sensitivity of the technique in the detection of mitral regurgitation was 86% as compared with that of left ventriculography. Mitral regurgitation in the false negative cases was mostly mild. On the basis of the farthest distance reached by the regurgitant flow signal from the mitral valve orifice, the severity of regurgitation was graded on a four point scale and these results were compared with those of angiography. A significant correlation (r = 0.87) was found between Doppler imaging and angiography in the evaluation of the severity of mitral regurgitation. A similar result was obtained for the evaluation based on the area covered by the regurgitant signals in the left atrial cavity. Thus, noninvasive semiquantitative evaluation by real-time two-dimensional Doppler flow imaging appears to be a promising clinical technique.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Echocardiography / instrumentation
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / classification*
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Radiography
  • Systole