Comparative value of Doppler echocardiography and cardiac catheterization for management decision-making in patients with left-sided valvular regurgitation.Eur Heart J. 1996 Feb; 17(2):272-80.EH
The purpose of this study was to examine the value of non-invasive clinical and Doppler echocardiographic findings, compared to cardiac catheterization, in management decision-making for patients with left-sided valvular regurgitation.
One hundred and thirty-five consecutive patients with left-sided valvular regurgitation who underwent cardiac catheterization and detailed Doppler echocardiography were prospectively studied. Two independent groups of experienced cardiologists, given clinical information combined with either Doppler echocardiographic or cardiac catheterization data, decided to operate, not to operate, or remained uncertain.
In 63 (81%) of 78 patients with mitral regurgitation, there was agreement on the decision for valve surgery or medical treatment between Doppler echocardiography and cardiac catheterization. Valve repair was performed in 22 patients, which agreed with the echocardiographic decision. In the remaining 15 patients, although the severity and type of mitral valve lesions and left ventricular functional status were confirmed by Doppler echocardiography, the clinical decision was uncertain; additional information concerning coronary anatomy (13 patients) and pulmonary artery pressure (one patient) or both (one patient) was required. In 47 of 57 patients (82%) with aortic regurgitation, there was agreement on their management as a result of Doppler echocardiography and cardiac catheterization findings. In 10 patients, the clinical decision reached with the help of Doppler echocardiography alone was uncertain and coronary (seven patients), left ventricular (two patients) angiography or aortography (one patient) were requested. Overall, there were no conflicting clinical decisions made by the two methods in patients with either mitral or aortic regurgitation.
In every patient in whom it was considered that a decision could be reached by echocardiography alone (more than 80% of patients) there was 100% agreement from the cardiac catheterization assessment group on the management decision. Therefore, in patients with significant mitral or aortic regurgitation where echocardiographic data is adequate, cardiac catheterization can be safely omitted from the investigative process for surgery. Where echocardiographic indices are conflicting, or significant coronary artery disease is suspected, cardiac catheterization is required.