A Doppler echocardiographic method for calculating volume flow across the tricuspid valve: Correlative laboratory and clinical studies

E. J. Meijboom, S. Horowitz, L. M. Valdes-Cruz, D. J. Sahn, D. F. Larson, C. Oliveira Lima

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54 Scopus citations


In this study we tested a two-dimensional Doppler echocardiographic method for measuring volume flow across the tricuspid valve. Five anesthetized, open-chest dogs had a calibrated electromagnetic flow probe on the ascending aorta. Volume flow across the tricuspid valve was controlled by creating a variable femoral-to-pulmonary arterial shunt. Since no standard plane provided a direct view of the tricuspid valve orifice, tricuspid flow area was estimated by calculating a fixed circular flow orifice from the maximal late diastolic diameter of the tricuspid anulus in a 4-chamber view. Doppler-determined velocities across the tricuspid valve and tricuspid anulus images in the 4-chamber view were obtained in inspiration and expiration. For 24 cardiac outputs (0.6 to 4.0 liters/min), inspiratory tricuspid flow determined by the Doppler method correlated minimally better (r = .90, SEE = 0.30 liter/min) than did expiratory measurements (r = .89, SEE = 0.35 liter/min) with the time-averaged systemic flow determined electromagnetically. Doppler-determined tricuspid volume flows in 4-chamber and short-axis two-dimensional echocardiographic views from 10 children were then compared with values determined simultaneously by thermodilution during cardiac catheterization. In the children, Doppler-determined flows in short-axis and 4-chamber views, both in inspiration and expiration, were similar; when results for the two views were averaged in inspiration and expiration, the tricuspid flows predicted by the Doppler method were highly correlated (r = .98, SEE = 0.48 liter/min) with the results of thermodilution. The two-dimensional Doppler echocardiographic method provides a means of estimating volume flow across the tricuspid valve noninvasively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-556
Number of pages6
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1985


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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