Pulmonary venous flow varies with different cardiac conditions. Flow patterns in response to mitral regurgitation have not been well studied, but flows may vary enough to differentiate among different grades of regurgitation. Accordingly, pulmonary venous flow velocities were recorded in 50 consecutive patients referred for outpatient (n = 26) or intraoperative (mitral valve repair; n = 24) echocardiographic examination for mitral regurgitation. Recordings were made of right and left upper pulmonary veins with pulsed wave Doppler transesophageal echocardiography. Mitral regurgitation was graded from 1+ to 4+ by an independent observer using transesophageal color flow mapping. The results of cardiac catheterization performed 5 weeks earlier in 43 of the patients were also graded for mitral regurgitation by an independent observer. Pulmonary venous flow patterns, the presence of reversed systolic flow and peak systolic and diastolic flow velocities were compared with the severity of mitral regurgitation indicated by each technique. Of the 28 patients with 4+ regurgitation by transesophageal color flow mapping, 26 (93%) had raversed systolic flow. The sensitivity of reversed systolic flow in detecting 4+ mitral regurgitation by transesophageal color flow mapping was 93% and the specificity was 100%. The sensitivity and specificity of reversed systolic flow in detecting 4+ mitral regurgitation by cardiac catheterization were 86% and 81%, respectively. Discordant flows were observed in 9 (24%) of 38 patients; the left vein usually showed blunted systolic flow and the right showed reversed systolic flow. In 22 intraoperative patients, there was "normalization" of pulmonary venous systolic flow after mitral valve repair in the postcardiopulmonary bypass study compared with the prebypass study after the mitral regurgitant leak was corrected. Thus, this study demonstrates the effect of mitral regurgitation on pulmonary venous flow patterns and the use of reversed systolic flow in the pulmonary veins in identifying severe 4+ mitral regurgitation. © 1991.
Klein, A. L., Obarski, T. P., Stewart, W. J., Casale, P. N., Pearce, G. L., Husbands, K., … Salcedo, E. E. (1991). Transesophageal Doppler echocardiography of pulmonary venous flow: A new marker of mitral regurgitation severity. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 18(2), 518–526. https://doi.org/10.1016/0735-1097(91)90609-D