Respiratory variation of mitral and pulmonary venous Doppler flow velocities in constrictive pericarditis before and after pericardiectomy

J. P. Sun, I. A. Abdalla, X. S. Yang, N. Rajagopalan, W. J. Stewart, M. J. Garcia, J. D. Thomas, A. L. Klein

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The objective of this study was to determine whether Doppler echocardiography is useful in assessing the effects of pericardiectomy in patients with constrictive pericarditis by studying the postoperative change in the respiratory variation of mitral inflow and pulmonary venous Doppler flows. The study population consisted of 35 cases with surgically proven constrictive pericarditis. Thirty-five patients had preoperative Doppler echocardiography, whereas 4 patients died of non-cardiac causes and 1 patient had a heart transplant before follow-up. Postoperative studies were performed at a mean of 1081 ± 84 days (range 120-2700 days) after pericardiectomy. The mean (± SD) respiratory variation changed after surgery from a baseline value of 17% ± 14% to 8% ± 8% for peak mitral E velocity (P < .01); from 25% ± 18% to 7% ± 13% (P < .001) for pulmonary venous (PV) peak diastolic flow velocity, and from 21% ± 13% to 11% ± 13% (P = .009) for PV peak systolic flow velocity. The 23 patients who became asymptomatic after surgery had a significantly lower mean mitral and PV respiratory variation than the 7 patients who were NYHA class II (4% ± 4% and 6% ± 4% vs 21% ± 6% and 19% ± 10%, respectively, P < .0001 for both). Pulsed Doppler echocardiographic assessment of respiratory variation is useful for evaluating the outcome of pericardiectomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1119-1126
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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