Quantification of tricuspid regurgitation by Doppler color flow mapping after cardiac transplantation

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      Color-coded Doppler echocardiography permits visualization of the spatial distribution of flow velocities produced by valvular regurgitation with a high sensitivity.1 Doppler color flow mapping has been used for simple noninvasive assessment of the magnitude of aortic and mitral regurgitation, and a reasonable agreement between the angiographically estimated grade of aortic or mitral regurgitation and Doppler color flow variables has been reported.1–3 Doppler color flow mapping is a sensitive and specific technique in detecting tricuspid regurgitation.4 However, little is known about the assessment of the magnitude of tricuspid regurgitation by color Doppler flow imaging, probably because a reliable reference standard for the assessment of tricuspid regurgitation is lacking. Therefore, we compared various measurements derived from the color Doppler flow imaging with the tricuspid regurgitant fraction obtained by a double thermodilution technique. The study group consisted of cardiac transplant patients who are known to have a high incidence of tricuspid regurgitation without any other valve abnormalities.5,6
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