Pulmonary venous flow pattern detected by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has been reported to be a good marker of mitral regurgitation (MR) severity. In 89 patients with MR detected by TEE, both pulmonary venous flow pattern and maximal mosaic jet area were recorded for evaluating the severity of MR. Cardiac catheterization was performed in all patients for grading the severity of MR. Systolic reversed flow in pulmonary veins was a good marker for angiographic grade 3 or 4 MR with a sensitivity of 97% (33 of 34) and specificity of 95% (52 of 55). Maximal mosaic jet area had a good correlation with the grading of MR (r = 0.79). When a maximal mosaic jet area of >6 cm2 was used to detect grade 3 or 4 MR, the sensitivity and specificity were lower than those of the systolic reversed flow (sensitivity 82 vs 97%, p = 0.073; specificity 80 vs 95%, p = 0.013). The accuracy of systolic reversed flow was not influenced by the cardiac rhythm or jet eccentricity. However, the sensitivity of maximal mosaic jet area was lower in patients with an eccentric jet than in patients with a central jet (67 vs 95%, p = 0.046). In conclusion, systolic reversed flow in pulmonary veins detected by TEE is better than the maximal mosaic jet area in detecting grade 3 or 4 MR, especially in patients with eccentric jet.
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