Doppler Hemodynamic Profiles of 82 Clinically and Echocardiographically Normal Tricuspid Valve Prostheses

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Normal Doppler hemodynamics for tricuspid prostheses have not been well characterized in a large group of patients. Therefore, we analyzed comprehensive Doppler echocardiographic examinations of 82 patients with tricuspid prostheses that were normal by clinical and two-dimensional echocardiographic examinations to establish the normal hemodynamics of various types and sizes of tricuspid prostheses.

Methods and Results.

The earliest complete postoperative echocardiographic study from each patient was chosen for analysis. Doppler examinations were analyzed on an off-line station from tapes or Doppler strip charts. Early velocity, atrial velocity, end-diastolic velocity, pressure half-time, and mean gradient were obtained by digitizing tricuspid velocity curves. The incidence of “physiological” tricuspid prosthetic regurgitation was noted. Ten Doppler cycles were measured for each patient, and maximal, minimal, and average measurements were recorded. The mean values±SD of early velocity, atrial velocity, end-diastolic velocity, mean gradient, and pressure half-time and incidence of mild prosthetic regurgitation were reported for each type of prosthesis, as were highest Doppler measurements for each valve type. Average pressure half-time was significantly lower for St Jude than for heterograft prostheses (P=.04). There were no significant differences between the valve types for mean gradient, early velocity, or incidence of prosthetic regurgitation. Increasing prosthesis size was associated with lower average pressure half-time for heterograft prostheses (P=.024). Average differences (respiratory- and cycle-length-dependent) between maximal and minimal values for 10 cardiac cycles were established for each prosthesis.


This study establishes normal ranges for Doppler hemodynamics of various tricuspid prostheses and emphasizes the importance of measuring multiple cycles for each tricuspid prosthesis, regardless of cardiac rhythm. (Circulation.1993;88:2722–2727.)

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