Systolic ejection murmurs in the elderly: Aortic valve and carotid arteries echo-Doppler findings

C. Vigna, M. Impagliatelli, A. Russo, M. Pacilli, V. De Rito, G. P. Perna, A. Villella, T. Langialonga, R. Fanelli, G. Rinelli, A. Lombardo, F. Loperfido

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Two-dimensional echographic and color Doppler studies of the heart and carotid arteries (CA) were performed in 45 patients > sixty-five years old without aortic stenosis, 23 with (Group 1) and 22 without (group 2) precordial ejection systolic murmur (SM). Aortic cusps thickening was found in 11 Group 1 (48%) and 2 Group 2 (9%) patients (p <0.001). Aortic root and aortic arch size were similar in the two groups. Maximum aortic flow velocity was significantly greater in Group 1 (200 60 cm/sec) than in Group 2 (120 20 cm/sec) (p <0.001). Left ventricular outflow systolic maximum velocity was similar in the two groups. A bilateral neck murmur was heard in 10/23 Group 1 patients (43%); in this group, patients with cervical SM had a greater maximum aortic flow velocity than those without cervical SM (230 + 60 cm/sec vs 172 + 32 cm/sec, p <0.001). In Group 1, 3 patients had a cervical SM louder on one neck side; only in these 3 patients were ipsilateral obstructive CA plaques found. A unilateral neck SM was heard in 4/22 Group 2 patients (18%); in these 4, ipsilateral obstructive CA were found. Conclusions: (1) in the elderly, precordial ejection SM is related to mild increase in maximum aortic flow velocity and thickening of aortic cusps; (2) in patients with precordial SM radiated to both neck sides, maximum aortic flow velocity tends to be more markedly increased; (3) in patients with precordial SM, a cervical SM louder on one neck side should suggest coexistent ipsilateral CA stenosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-461
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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