Mitral regurgitation (MR) is the most frequent valve disease. Nevertheless, evaluation of MR severity is difficult because standard color flow imaging is plagued by considerable pitfalls. Modern surgical indications in asymptomatic patients require precise assessment of MR severity. MR severity assessment is always comprehensive, utilizing all views and methods. Determining trivial/mild MR is usually easy, based on small jet and flow convergence. Specific signs of severe MR (pulmonary venous flow systolic reversal or severe mitral lesion) are useful but insensitive. Quantitative methods, quantitative Doppler (measuring stroke volumes) and flow convergence (aka PISA method), measure the lesion severity as effective regurgitant orifice (ERO) and volume overload as regurgitant volume (RVol). Interpretation of these numbers should be performed in context of specific MR type. In organic MR (intrinsic valve lesions) ERO ≥ 0.40 cm2 and RVol ≥ 60 mL are associated with poor outcome, while in functional MR ERO ≥ 0.20 cm2 and RVol ≥ 30 mL mark reduced survival. While MR assessment should always be comprehensive, quantitative assessment of MR provides measures that are strongly predictive of outcome and should be the preferred approach. The ERO and RVol measured by these methods require interpretation in causal context to best predict outcome and determine MR management.
- Mitral regurgitation
- Valve repair