Effect of cardiac output on mitral valve area in patients with mitral stenosis: Validation and pitfalls of the pressure half-time method

M. S. Firstenberg, D. L. Prior, N. L. Greenberg, S. Wahi, A. Pasquet, M. J. Garcia, J. D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Background and aim of the study: The non-invasive evaluation of mitral valve area is often used in the assessment of patients with mitral stenosis. The pressure half-time method is commonly used to calculate valve area, but is inaccurate in many clinical scenarios. We sought to quantify the effects of changing cardiac output on the accuracy of mitral valve area determination. Methods: Thirteen patients with mitral stenosis underwent routine stress echocardiography with resting and peak exercise results compared. A previously described and clinically validated mathematical model of the cardiovascular system was used to validate the clinical results. Seven different loading conditions for each of four different stenotic valve areas were modeled. Results: In patients, with increasing cardiac output, pressure half-time decreased (-30.6 ± 35.3 ms/1/min) and calculated valve area increased by 0.25 ± 0.30 cm2/1/min. By continuity, it appeared that approximately half of this increase was due to actual valve orifice stretching, the remainder reflecting fundamental changes in the relationship between half-time and valve area. Mathematical modeling resulted in similar changes in pressure half-time and calculated valve area (0.06 to 0.12 cm2/1/min, p = 0.20 versus clinical results). Conclusion: Changes in cardiac output result in predictable changes in pressure half-time, and should be considered when performing serial examinations in patients with mitral stenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Heart Valve Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 8 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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