Background: Although the effects of adjacent walls and left atrial pressure on mitral regurgitation (MR) jet area imaged by color Doppler have been examined, few data exist regarding the influence of pulmonary venous (PV) filling flow on regurgitant jets. Therefore, we designed a left atrial model to examine the relation between PV flow direction and MR jet area. Methods and Results: The left atrial chamber (7.6 cm in diameter) was built with a PV inflow (1.0 cm in diameter) and mitral valve regurgitant orifice in the same plane. The MR jet was simulated as fixed in volume and velocity (3.5 m/s) and directed with a pulsatile pump into the left atrial model, PV flow with a constant velocity (30 cm/s) was driven by gravity (83 cm H2O). With left atrial mean pressure at either 10, 30, or 50 mm Hg, four flow patterns were examined: (1) PV flow away from the mitral valve, MR jet toward the pulmonary vein; (2) PV flow toward the mitral valve, MR jet toward the pulmonary vein; (3) PV flow away from the mitral valve, MR jet away from the pulmonary vein; and (4) PV flow toward the mitral valve, MR jet away from the pulmonary vein. MR color Doppler images were recorded with a 3.5-mHz frequency transducer and at 7-kHz pulse repetition frequency. For each condition,we compared jet area, length, and width of the MR signal. MR jet areas for conditions 3 and 4 were larger at 10 mm Hg than at 30 or 50 mm Hg left atrial pressure. Especially at the lower pressures, PV flow diminished the MR jet area in condition 4 compared with that in condition 3, such that MR jets were smaller in condition 4. In conditions 1 and 2, the jets were imaged at an oblique angle and were smaller than in conditions 3 and 4 (P<.001), but they were not significantly different from each other as imaged. Conclusions: In this model, factors including the direction of PV flow, the direction of MR as relates to the angle of interrogation, and the level of left atrial pressure influenced the size of MR jets. The effect of PV flow direction was diminished by increased left atrial pressure. PV flow directed away from the mitral valve was associated with larger MR jets than when PV flow was directed toward it (condition 4), probably because of jet distortion and flattening.
- blood flow
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)