Calculation of aortic valve area by Doppler echocardiography: a direct application of the continuity equation
The continuity equation suggests that a ratio of velocities at two different cardiac valves is inversely proportional to the ratio of cross-sectional areas of the valves. To determine whether a ratio of mitral/aortic valve orifice velocities is useful in determining aortic valve area in patients with aortic stenosis, 10 control subjects and 22 patients with predominant aortic stenosis were examined by Doppler echocardiography. The ratio of (mean diastolic mitral velocity)/(mean systolic aortic
... an systolic aortic velocity), (Vm)/(Va), and the ratio of (mitral diastolic velocity-time integral)/(aortic systolic velocity-time integral), (VTm)/(VTa), were determined from Doppler spectral recordings. Aortic valve area determined at catheterization by the Gorlin equation was the standard of reference. High-quality Doppler recordings were obtained in 30 of 32 subjects (94%). Catheterization documented valve areas of 0.5 to 2.6 (mean 1.1) cm2. There was good correlation between Doppler-determined (Vm)/(Va) and Gorlin valve area (r = .90, SEE = 0.23 cm2); a better correlation was noted between (VTm)/(VTa) and Gorlin valve area (r = .93, SEE = 0.18 cm2). The data demonstrate the usefulness of Doppler alone in the determination of aortic valve area in adults with absent or mild aortic or mitral regurgitation and no mitral stenosis. Although the use of mean velocity and velocity-time integral ratios requires accurate measurement of mitral and aortic velocities, it does not require squaring of these velocities or measurement of the cross-sectional area of flow. Circulation 73, No. 5, 964-969, 1986.