RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Assessment of accuracy of the Doppler pressure half-time method in the estimation of the mitral valve area immediately after balloon mitral valvuloplasty.

AIM: The reliability of Doppler echocardiography in determining the mitral valve area after balloon mitral valvuloplasty has been questioned, as discrepancies were noted between measurements obtained by the pressure half-time method and those derived haemodynamically, immediately following completion of the procedure. Recent investigations, however, have indicated that these discrepancies may be attributable to the over-estimation of the mitral valve area by haemodynamic measurements, caused by the presence of the iatrogenic atrial septal defect complicating transseptal catheterization. The aim of the present study was to further test this hypothesis.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Measurements of the mitral valve area by the Doppler pressure half-time method and the Gorlin formula were obtained and compared in 238 consecutive patients before and immediately after retrograde non-transseptal balloon mitral valvuloplasty, which does not involve puncture and/or dilatation of the inter-atrial septum. No significant difference was found between Doppler- and Gorlin-derived measurements, neither before (1.04 +/- 0.23 vs 1.03 +/- 0.23 cm2, P = ns) nor immediately after (2.14 +/- 0.47 vs 2.12 +/- 0.49 cm2, P = ns) valvuloplasty. Linear regression analysis demonstrated a high degree of correlation between Doppler and Gorlin measurements before (r = 0.778) and after (r = 0.886) the procedure. Good agreement was confirmed by the Bland-Altman method.

CONCLUSION: Doppler echocardiography yields accurate measurements of the mitral valve area immediately after retrograde non-transseptal balloon mitral valvuloplasty. This finding supports the hypothesis that the creation of an iatrogenic atrial septal defect during transseptal catheterization may contribute to the poor agreement between Doppler and Gorlin data after balloon mitral valvuloplasty.

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