Quantification of tricuspid regurgitation by means of the proximal flow convergence method: a clinical study

Am Heart J. 1994 May;127(5):1354-62. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(94)90056-6.


Quantitation of valvular regurgitation remains an important goal in clinical cardiology. It has been described previously that with the use of color Doppler flow mapping, simple measurements of apparent jet size do not correlate closely with quantitative regurgitant indices. Recently the proximal flow convergence method has been proposed to quantify valvular regurgitation by analysis of the converging flow field proximal to a regurgitant lesion. Assuming hemispherical convergence, flow rate Q can be calculated as Q = 2 pi r2va, where va is the aliasing velocity at a distance r from the orifice. For maximal accuracy, previously validated correction factors must be used to account for the flattening effect of the isovelocity contours close to the orifice and for the actual sector angle subtended by the valve leaflets (alpha), to yield a flow rate formula Q = 2 pi r2va.(vp/vp - va).(alpha/180), where vp is the orifice velocity obtained by continuous wave Doppler. In 45 patients (35 in sinus rhythm, 10 with atrial fibrillation) with tricuspid regurgitation, regurgitant stroke volume, regurgitant flow rate, and regurgitant fraction were calculated using the proximal flow convergence method and were compared with values obtained by the Doppler two-dimensional echocardiographic method. Regurgitant stroke volumes (SV) calculated by the proximal flow convergence method correlated very closely with values obtained by the Doppler two-dimensional method with r = 0.95 (y = 0.94x + 0.99) and delta SV = -0.3 +/- 5.2 cm3. Regurgitant flow rates (Q) calculated by both methods showed a similar correlation: r = 0.96 (y = 0.97x + 45) and delta Q = 1.6 +/- 429 cm3/min.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Flow Velocity*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / instrumentation
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Tricuspid Valve Insufficiency / physiopathology