Temporal variability of vena contracta and jet areas with color Doppler in aortic regurgitation: A chronic animal model study

M. Ishii, M. Jones, T. Shiota, I. Yamada, B. Sinclair, R. S. Heinrich, A. P. Yoganathan, D. J. Sahn

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8 Scopus citations


Objective. The purpose of our study was to determine the temporal variability of regurgitant color Doppler jet areas and the width of the color Doppler imaged vena contracta for evaluating the severity of aortic regurgitation. Methods. Twenty-nine hemodynamically different states were obtained pharmacologically in 8 sheep 20 weeks after surgery to produce aortic regurgitation. Aortic regurgitation was quantified by peak and mean regurgitant flow rates, regurgitant stroke volumes, and regurgitant fractions determined using pulmonary and aortic electromagnetic flow probes and meters balanced against each other. The regurgitant jet areas and the widths of color Doppler imaged vena contracta were measured at 4 different times during diastole to determine the temporal variability of this parameter. Results. When measured at 4 different temporal points in diastole, a significant change was observed in the size of the color Doppler imaged regurgitant jet (percent of difference: from 31.1% to 904%; 233% ± 245%). Simple linear regression analysis between each color jet area at 4 different periods in diastole and flow meter-based severity of the aortic regurgitation showed only weak correlation (0.23 < r < 0.49). In contrast, for most conditions only a slight change was observed in the width of the color Doppler imaged vena contracta during the diastolic regurgitant period (percent of difference, vena contracta: from 2.4% to 12.9%, 5.8% ± 3.2%). In addition, for each period the width of the color Doppler imaged vena contracta at the 4 different time periods in diastole correlated quite strongly with volumetric measures of the severity of aortic regurgitation (0.81 < r < 0.90) and with the instantaneous flow rate for the corresponding period (0.85 < r < 0.87). Conclusions. Color Doppler imaged vena contracta may provide a simple, practical, and accurate method for quantifying aortic regurgitation, even when using a single frame color Doppler flow mapping image.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1064-1071
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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