Transthoracic (TTE) and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) are the standard techniques for the evaluation of prosthetic valve function. However, quantitative evaluation of leaflet(s) motion is not routinally carried out, although leaflet(s) opening and closing angle measurements are important information to recognize prosthetic dysfunction. For this purpose, cinefluoroscopy is considered the "gold standard" technique. The aim of this study was the evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of TTE and TEE in the quantitative assessment of leaflet motion in patients with mechanical protheses. One hundred-eleven patients with mitral (single disk 18; bileaflet 48) and aortic (single disk 22; bileaflet 23) prostheses, were referred to TTE, TEE, and cinefluoroscopy for electrical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation (n = 40) or suspected prosthesis dysfunction (n = 71). Echocardiographic evaluation included leaflet(s) opening and closing angle measurements; results were compared with cinefluoroscopy. For mitral prostheses, opening and closing angles were correctly identified by TTE in 85% and by TEE in 100% of patients, regardless of prosthetic valve type, with a good concordance with cinefluoroscopy. For aortic prostheses, opening angles were correctly identified by TTE and TEE, respectively, in 40% and 77% of patients with single-disk and in 13% and 35% of patients with bileaflet prostheses. Both TTE and TEE were rarely able to identify closing angles. In conclusion, quantitative evaluation of mitral leaflet(s) motion may be accurately achieved with TTE and TEE, leading to increased diagnostic efficacy of prosthetic valve dysfunction. In the aortic position, TTE and TEE allow a quantitative evaluation of leaflet(s) dynamics only in a minority of patients and cinefluoroscopy still remains the first-choice technique.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine