Thorac cardiovasc Surg 1999; 47(6): 369-375
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1013176
Original Cardiovascular

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

A New Diagnostic Procedure for Assessing Intracardiac Flow Disturbances in Patients with Heart Valve Disease

R. De Simone1 , G. Glombitza2 , C. F. Vahl1 , H. P. Meinzer2 , S. Hagl1
  • 1Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2Department of Medical and Biological Informatics, Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Germany
Further Information

Publication History


Publication Date:
19 March 2008 (online)


Background: Until now no diagnostic technique was available for the three-dimensional (3D) study of intracardiac blood flow abnormalities in patients with heart valve disease. 3D color Doppler is a new diagnostic technique first developed at our institution. Methods: The 3D reconstructions of the blood flow velocity data have been obtained from conventional multiplanar transesophageal or transthoracic Doppler echocardiographic examinations. We analyzed 111 reconstructions of color Doppler data obtained from 85 patients with different heart valve diseases who underwent intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography. Sixty-nine patients had a significant mitral regurgitation, 7 mitral stenosis, 9 aortic regurgitation, 12 aortic stenosis, 14 tricuspid regurgitation. Three patients had pulmonary regurgitation associated with mitral valve disease. Results: 3D color Doppler disclosed the complex spatial spreading of the blood flow abnormalities caused by heart valve disease. New patterns of intracardiac blood flow disturbances could be observed and classified. Conclusions: This paper shows the first clinical applications of 3D color Doppler in patients with heart valve disease. The new insights derived from the 3D study of intracardiac blood flow dynamics revealed a great impact of this technique on the clinical management of patients with heart valve disease.