Author + information
- Received February 8, 2001
- Revision received July 17, 2001
- Accepted August 13, 2001
- Published online November 15, 2001.
- ↵*Reprint requests and correspondence: Prof. Luc A. Piérard, University Hospital Liège, Division of Cardiology, Domaine Universitaire du Sart Tilman B 35, 4000 Liège, Belgium
We sought to examine the feasibility and reliability of quantifying mitral regurgitation (MR) during exercise by Doppler echocardiography in patients with heart failure and to assess the relationship between dynamic MR and systolic pulmonary artery pressure changes.
The severity of MR can be quantified by using several echocardiographic methods. Quantitation of MR during dynamic exercise has not yet been performed.
Symptom-limited, semi-supine two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiograms during bicycle exercise were obtained in 27 consecutive patients with heart failure and functional MR. Regurgitant volume was measured at rest and during exercise by the proximal isovelocity surface area (PISA) method and by quantitative Doppler echocardiography. Exercise-induced changes in regurgitant volume were compared with changes in the regurgitant jet area to left atrial area ratio, vena contracta width and trans-tricuspid pressure gradient.
The regurgitant volume measured by the PISA method increased from 21 ± 12 ml (range 5 to 55) at rest to 39 ± 23 ml (range 8 to 85) during exercise (p < 0.0001). The difference between two observers was low for both rest (2.0 ± 2.7 ml) and exercise measurements (3.5 ± 6.2 ml). The regurgitant volume measured by quantitative Doppler echocardiography increased from 29 ± 13 to 49 ± 24 ml (p = 0.0001). Excellent correlation between the two methods was obtained with exercise (r = 0.92). Exercise-induced changes in regurgitant volume, as measured by the PISA method, correlated well with regurgitant volume changes measured by quantitative Doppler echocardiography (r = 0.88), changes in vena contracta width (r = 0.82) and changes in trans-tricuspid pressure gradient (r = 0.73), but not with changes in regurgitant jet area to left atrial area ratio (r = 0.29). Seventeen patients stopped exercise because of fatigue and 10 because of dyspnea. These 10 patients exhibited greater increases in regurgitant volume (34 ± 6 vs. 11 ± 8 ml), corresponding to a significant elevation of the trans-tricuspid gradient (48 ± 14 vs. 20 ± 14 mm Hg).
Quantitation of functional MR during exercise is feasible in patients with heart failure. There is a good correlation between regurgitant volume measured during exercise by the PISA method and that obtained by quantitative Doppler echocardiography, suggesting that the technique is reliable. An increase in mitral regurgitant volume during dynamic exercise correlates well with elevation of systolic pulmonary artery pressure.
- Received February 8, 2001.
- Revision received July 17, 2001.
- Accepted August 13, 2001.
- American College of Cardiology