In prosthetic or paravalvular prosthetic mitral regurgitation, transthoracic color Doppler flow mapping can sometimes fail to detect the regurgitant jet within the left atrium because of the shadowing by the prosthetic valve. To overcome this limitation, we assessed the utility of color Doppler visualization of the flow convergence region (FCR) proximal to the regurgitant orifice in 20 consecutive patients with mechanical prosthetic mitral regurgitation documented by surgery and cardiac catheterization (13 of 20 patients). In addition, we studied 33 patients with normally functioning mitral prostheses. Doppler studies were performed in the apical, subcostal, and parasternal long-axis views. An FCR was detected in 95% (19 of 20) of patients with prosthetic mitral regurgitation. A jet area in the left atrium was detected in 60% (12 of 20) of patients. In 18 of 19 patients with Doppler-detected FCR, the site of the leak was correctly identified by observing the location of the FCR. A trivial jet area was detected in eight patients with a normally functioning mitral prosthesis; in none was an FCR identified. Thus color Doppler visualization of the FCR proximal to the regurgitant orifice is superior to the jet area in the diagnosis of mechanical prosthetic mitral regurgitation. Moreover, FCR permits localization of the site of the leak with good accuracy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine