Instantaneous Transmitral Blood Flow and Anterior Mitral Leaflet Motion in Man

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Transmitral blood flow was measured in man by numerical differentiation of left ventricular volume as a function of time in 11 patients undergoing cardiac catheterization. Using this technique, transmitral blood flow may be studied in a variety of pathologic states without the need for surgically introduced flowmeters. Just before left ventriculography, echocardiography of the mitral valve was performed. The pattern of transmitral blood flow was strikingly similar to the diastolic movement of the anterior mitral leaflet. At any equivalent diastolic filling time, the percent of the integrated area beneath the curve inscribed by the diastolic anterior mitral leaflet echoes closely approximated the percent of stroke volume which had entered the left ventricle. This observation supports the hypothesis that mitral leaflet motion accurately reflects transmitral flow. Consequently, at a given time during diastole, the relative velocity of transmitral flow and the percent of the stroke volume which has entered the left ventricle may be approximated noninvasively from the anterior mitral leaflet echogram.

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