Aortic valve stenosis planimetry by means of three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography in the real clinical setting: feasibility, reliability and systematic deviations

Daniel Saura, Gonzalo de la Morena, Pedro J Flores-Blanco, María J Oliva, Luis Caballero, Josefa González-Carrillo, María D Espinosa, María López-Ruiz, Miguel García-Navarro, Mariano Valdés
Echocardiography 2015, 32 (3): 508-15

AIMS: To assess the feasibility and reliability of aortic valve area (AVA) planimetry by means of three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) as compared with the transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) calculation of AVA, to determine the systematic deviations between measurements, and to describe the distribution of mean systolic in relation with 3DTEE anatomical AVA.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Three hundred seven patients with aortic valve stenosis (AVS) underwent both TTE and 3DTEE for AVA measurement by means of the continuity equation and direct anatomical planimetry, respectively. AVA planimetry was achieved in 282 (91.9%) of patients. Severity of the aortic valve calcification was independently associated with a poorer performance of planimetry. Intraclass correlation coefficient yielded a 0.848 (95% CI: 0.807-0.879) value. 3DTEE rendered a mild constant underestimation of AVA in comparison with TTE. Severe aortic stenosis according to the area criterion (<1 cm(2) ) despite mean systolic gradient below 40 mm Hg was detected in 37.6% of the study population, and in 33.7% of the subset of patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction.

CONCLUSIONS: Reliability of AVA planimetry by 3DTEE in comparison with the calculation by TTE is good, but 3DTEE underestimates slightly the measurement. Feasibility of the technique is good but independently affected by valvular calcification. Inconsistent classification of AVS severity as graded by AVA or mean systolic gradient is observed in the overall population and in patients with preserved systolic function.

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