Quantification of instantaneous flow rate and dynamically changing effective orifice area using a geometry independent three-dimensional digital color Doppler method: An in vitro study mimicking mitral regurgitation

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Objective: Our study was intended to test the accuracy of a 3-dimensional (3D) digital color Doppler flow convergence (FC) method for assessing the effective orifice area (EOA) in a new dynamic orifice model mimicking a variety of mitral regurgitation. Background: FC surface area methods for detecting EOA have been reported to be useful for quantifying the severity of valvular regurgitation. With our new 3D digital direct FC method, all raw velocity data are available and variable Nyquist limits can be selected for computation of direct FC surface area for computing instantaneous flow rate and temporal change of EOA. Methods: A 7.0-MHz multiplane transesophageal probe from an ultrasound system (ATL HDI 5000) was linked and controlled by a computer workstation to provide 3D images. Three differently shaped latex orifices (zigzag, arc, and straight slit, each with cutting-edge length of 1 cm) were used to mimic the dynamic orifice of mitral regurgitation. 3D FC surface computation was performed on parallel slices through the 3D data set at aliasing velocities (14-48 cm/s) selected to maximize the regularity and minimize lateral dropout of the visualized 3D FC at 5 points per cardiac cycle. Using continuous wave velocity for each, 3D-calculated EOA was compared with EOA determined by using continuous wave Doppler and the flow rate from a reference ultrasonic flow meter. Simultaneous digital video images were also recorded to define the actual orifice size for 9 stroke volumes (15-55 mL/beat with maximum flow rates 45-182 mL/s). Results: Over the 9 pulsatile flow states and 3 orifices, 3D FC EOAs (0.05-0.63 cm2) from different phases of the cardiac cycle in each pump setting correlated well with reference EOA (r = 0.89-0.92, SEE = 0.027-0.055cm2) and they also correlated well with digital video images of the actual orifice peak (r = 0.97-0.98, SEE = 0.016-0.019 cm2), although they were consistently smaller, as expected by the contraction coefficient. Conclusion: The digital 3D FC method can accurately predict flow rate, and, thus, EOA (in conjunction with continuous wave Doppler), because it allows direct FC surface measurement despite temporal variability of FC shape.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1189-1196
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number10 II
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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