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Pure Aortic Regurgitation in Pediatric Patients

Published:September 09, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amjcard.2019.08.042
      Aortic regurgitation (AR) continues to be an important cause of morbidity and mortality in pediatric patients. Although echocardiographic parameters are well established for the adults, there are no clear cut-off values for AR severity in children. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is considered a “gold standard” for a quantitative evaluation of the AR, but it is not widely available. This study assesses which echo parameter can accurately define AR severity as assessed by CMR in pediatric patients. A total of 27 pediatric patients (12 ± 3 years, range 6 to 18 years) with different degree of AR underwent echo assessment within an average of 35 days from CMR. CMR included phase-contrast velocity-encoded imaging for the measurement of regurgitant fraction (RF). Severe AR was defined as RF >33%. Echo evaluation included vena contracta, pressure half time, the ratio between the AR jet and the left ventricular outflow tract diameter (jet/left ventricular outflow tract), presence of holodiastolic reversal flow in abdominal aorta, the ratio between the velocity-time integral of the reversal flow over the forward flow in descending aorta (echoRF). Among the studied parameters, the strongest predictor of severe AR, as assessed by CMR, was echoRF. Receiver-operating characteristic curve showed, for a cutoff >0.38, an area under the curve of 0.886 (p <0.0001), a sensitivity of 71%, and a specificity of 100%. Correlation coefficient between echoRF and RF was R = 0.929 (p <0.0001). In conclusion, echoRF is a strong echo-Doppler marker of severe AR in the pediatric population. This parameter should be routinely added in the standard echo evaluation of pediatric patients with AR.
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