Background: We investigate pressure recovery in central and side orifices of St Jude valves and the effect of mitral versus aortic position on the relation between Doppler- and catheter-derived pressure gradients. Methods and Results: Maximum, transvalvular, and net pressure gradients are calculated and compared with Doppler-derived gradients in an in vitro model. Pressure recovery and pressure loss coefficients are calculated. Simultaneous Doppler and catheter gradients are obtained intraoperatively in five patients undergoing mitral valve replacement. Centerline Doppler gradients correspond closely with maximum catheter gradients but are higher than transvalvular and net pressure gradients. Thirty-six percent of the initial pressure drop is recovered between the valve leaflets and is independent of valve size or configuration. A variable amount of postvalvular pressure recovery is observed depending on aortic or mitral configuration. Side orifice velocities are 85±4% of the centerline velocities. Incorporation of the pressure loss coefficient in the simplified Bernoulli equation shows close agreement between centerline Doppler gradients and transvalvular gradients (r=.99, y= 1.11x-0.19). Conclusions: Gradients across the St Jude valve measured by Doppler ultrasound are higher than transvalvular or net catheter gradients due to downstream pressure recovery. This is more marked for Doppler gradients based on centerline velocities than side orifice velocities and is more pronounced for valves in an aortic than a mitral configuration. Therefore, to be comparable with invasive transvalvular catheter gradients, either Doppler gradients should be calculated based on side orifice velocity measurements or the Doppler gradient calculation should include the pressure loss coefficient when based on central orifice velocities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)