Aims: To assess the diagnostic accuracy of combined transmitral E wave velocity and reversed systolic pulmonary venous flow for the quantification of mitral regurgitation severity. Methods and Results: Measuring forward and total left ventricular stroke volume, mitral regurgitation severity was assessed quantitatively by calculating the regurgitant fraction in 106 consecutive patients with pure mitral regurgitation. According to the regurgitant fraction, the optimal E wave velocity for accurate distinction of mild to moderate and more than moderate mitral regurgitation was chosen by calculating the receiver-operating characteristic plot. Severe mitral regurgitation was defined by reversed systolic pulmonary venous flow. Combining transmitral E wave velocity and reversed systolic pulmonary venous flow had an overall accuracy of 78% (95% CI 70-86%) for classification of mitral regurgitation severity. E wave velocity > 1.0 ms-1predicted more than moderate mitral regurgitation with 78% sensitivity (95% CI 69-86%) and 90% specificity (95% CI 82-95%), resulting in a positive likelihood ratio of 8.1 (95% CI 5-15) and negative likelihood ratio of 0.25 (95% CI 0.18-0.35). For reversed systolic pulmonary venous flow in the presence of increased E wave velocity, the sensitivity and specificity to detect severe mitral regurgitation was 78% (95% CI 69-86%) and 97% (95% CI 92-99%) with the corresponding positive and negative likelihood ratio of 29 (95% CI 11-96) and 0.22 (95% CI 0.14-0.31). Test accuracy was independent of systolic function in a multivariate regression analysis. Conclusions: 'Looking twice', once at the transmitral E wave velocity and once at pulmonary venous flow in patients with mitral regurgitation, allows accurate determination of moderately severe and severe mitral regurgitation. © 2001 The European Society of Cardiology.
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