Pulmonary Veins

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Transesophageal pulsed wave Doppler showing the timing of pulmonary venous inflow. Normally, systolic antegrade filling of the left atrium dominates and diastolic inflow has a shorter duration with lower peak velocities followed by a brief flow reversal following the atrial contraction.
This patient has an abnormal diastolic dominant inflow pattern.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2005 Jun;18(6):654-9.
Transesophageal echocardiography in comparison with magnetic resonance imaging in the diagnosis of pulmonary vein stenosis after radiofrequency ablation therapy.
Jander N, Minners J, Arentz T, Gornandt L, Furmaier R, Kalusche D, Neumann FJ.
Herz-Zentrum, Bad Krozingen, Germany. nikolaus.jander@herzzentrum.de

OBJECTIVE: Doppler-derived flow velocity measured by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) may overestimate pulmonary vein stenosis. We hypothesized that combining peak velocity with a stenotic flow pattern improves diagnosis compared with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). METHODS: TEE and MRI were performed in 44 patients 19 +/- 11 months after radiofrequency catheter ablation. Pulmonary vein stenosis was defined by a peak velocity of 110 cm/s or more plus a stenotic flow pattern (turbulence and reduced flow variation) on TEE and a lumen reduction of more than 50% on MRI. RESULTS: In all, 175 pulmonary veins were studied. MRI showed 7 cases of pulmonary vein stenosis that were correctly identified by TEE. In addition, TEE criteria for pulmonary vein stenosis were met in 4 pulmonary veins that did not show obstruction on MRI. In all, 5 pulmonary veins with normal appearance on MRI had peak velocity of 110 cm/s or more with normal flow pattern. CONCLUSIONS: TEE Doppler measurements can be reliably used to detect or exclude significant pulmonary vein stenosis if the diagnosis is restricted to a combination of elevated peak velocity (> or = 110 cm/s) with turbulence and little flow variation.

Intern Med J. 2004 Aug;34(8):453-7.
Percutaneous pulmonary vein isolation for treatment of atrial fibrillation.
Thomas SP, Boyd AC, Aggarwal G, Jin Y, Ross DL.
Department of Cardiology, Westmead Hospital and Westmead Private Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. stuartpt@yahoo.com

BACKGROUND: Transvenous catheter ablation for the treatment of atrial fibrillation is an evolving technique. AIM: The purpose of this study was to identify subgroups of patients most likely to benefit from pulmonary vein electrical isolation. METHODS: Patients with symptomatic atrial fibrillation resistant to pharmacological therapy were studied. Mapping-guided segmental application of radio-frequency energy was used to electrically isolate the pulmonary veins in 74 patients. Ischaemic or dilated cardiomyopathy was present in 34% of patients. Atrial fibrillation had been present for a mean time (+/- standard deviation) of 6.6 +/- 6.1 years. It was paroxysmal in 53 patients (72%). RESULTS: The mean number of procedures was 1.6/patient. After 6 +/- 6 months, 73% of patients (54/74) were in sinus rhythm. Thirteen of those in sinus rhythm were using anti-arrhythmic medications (25%). Recurrence of atrial fibrillation soon after pulmonary vein isolation occurred in 50%. Patients with persistent/permanent atrial fibrillation were less likely to be in sinus rhythm at follow up (11/21 (52%) vs 43/53 (81%); P = 0.01). However, the rate of early recurrence was similar in the intermittent and the persistent/permanent groups (26/53 (49%) vs 11/21(52%), respectively; P-value not significant). Patients with persistent atrial fibrillation were more likely to experience a recurrence of atrial fibril-lation (89%; P = 0.04). No other baseline factors predicted procedural success. Cardiac tamponade occurred in two patients and moderate pulmonary vein stenosis (>50% diameter narrowing) occurred in three patients. CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary vein isolation is an effective curative treatment for a broad group of patients with atrial fibrillation. However, the procedure is only suitable for patients with problematic atrial fibrillation resistant to other therapies because of the small risk of serious complications.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2004 Nov;15(11):1335-40.
Pulmonary vein antrum isolation: intracardiac echocardiography-guided technique.
Verma A, Marrouche NF, Natale A.
Section of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology, Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

Several techniques are used for AF ablation, but no general consensus exists as to which technique is the most effective. At our center, we have developed a technique for isolating the pulmonary veins (PVs) at their antrum. The technique is guided by intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) and mapping with a circular (Lasso) catheter. Our technique was developed based on four crucial principles: 1. Precisely identifying the true border of the PV antrum. 2. Electrically isolating all of the PVs at the level of the antrum. 3. Avoiding risk of PV stenosis by ablating outside of the antrum. 4. Minimizing risk of other complications, such as perforation and stroke, by direct visualization during transseptal access and radiofrequency (RF) ablation.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2003 Apr;14(4):366-70.
Comment in: J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2003 Apr;14(4):371-2.
Total pulmonary vein occlusion as a consequence of catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation mimicking primary lung disease.
Ernst S, Ouyang F, Goya M, Lober F, Schneider C, Hoffmann-Riem M, Schwarz S, Hornig K, Muller KM, Antz M, Kaukel E, Kugler C, Kuck KH.
Department of Cardiology, Allgemeines Krankenhaus St. Georg, Hamburg, Germany. sernst1708@aol.com

INTRODUCTION: Catheter ablation has recently been used for curative treatment of atrial fibrillation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Three of 239 patients who underwent ablation close to the pulmonary vein (PV) ostia at our institute developed severe hemoptysis, dyspnea, and pneumonia as early as 1 week and as late as 6 months after the ablation. Because the patients were arrhythmia-free, the treating physician initially attributed the symptoms to new-onset pulmonary disease (e.g., bronchopulmonary neoplasm). After absent PV flow was confirmed by transesophageal echocardiography, transseptal contrast injection depicted a totally occluded PV in all three patients. Successful recanalization, even in chronically occluded Pvs, was performed in all patients. During follow-up, Doppler flow measurements by transesophageal echocardiography demonstrated restenosis in all primarily dilated PV, which led to stent implantation. CONCLUSION: PV stenosis/occlusion after catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation occurs in a subset of patients. However, because in-stent restenosis occurred in two patients after 6 to 10 weeks, final interventional strategy for PV stenosis or occlusion remains unclear. To prevent future PV stenosis or occlusion, a decrease in target temperature and energy of radiofrequency current or the use of new energy sources (ultrasound, cryothermia, microwave) seems necessary.

Circulation. 2003 Sep 16;108(11):1336-42. Epub 2003 Sep 2.
Transcatheter angioplasty for acquired pulmonary vein stenosis after radiofrequency ablation.
Qureshi AM, Prieto LR, Latson LA, Lane GK, Mesia CI, Radvansky P, White RD, Marrouche NF, Saad EB, Bash DL, Natale A, Rhodes JF.
Department of Pediatric Cardiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

BACKGROUND: Pulmonary vein stenosis has recently been recognized as a complication of radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation. This study evaluates the presentation of affected patients and the role of transcatheter therapy for this patient population. METHODS AND RESULTS: This study used a retrospective review of data from 19 patients (age, 51+/-13 years) with pulmonary vein stenosis who underwent catheterization and angiography between December 2000 and December 2002. Quantitative perfusion and spiral CT scans were performed for initial diagnosis and follow-up. The median duration between radiofrequency ablation and the reported onset of respiratory symptoms for 18 of 19 patients was 7.5 weeks (0.1 to 48). After the onset of symptoms, all but two patients were initially misdiagnosed with a symptoms-to-diagnosis duration of 16 weeks (2-59). At initial catheterization, 17 of 19 patients had angioplasty in 30 veins with stent placement in 5 vessels when a flap occurred. Overall vessel diameter increased from 2.6+/-1.6 to 6.6+/-2.4 mm (P<0.0001). There were 4 procedure-related adverse events but no long-term sequelae. Immediate follow-up showed improved flow to involved lung segments. At a median follow-up of 43 weeks (2-92), although repeat angioplasty for restenosis was necessary in 8 of 17 patients, 15 of 17 patients currently have no or minimal persistent symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary vein stenosis after radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation is often misdiagnosed. Although further follow-up is necessary to determine long-term success, our data indicate better pulmonary vein flow and symptomatic improvement in the majority of patients undergoing dilation of postablation pulmonary vein stenosis.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2000 Jun;11(6):677-81.
Pulmonary vein stenosis complicating catheter ablation of focal atrial fibrillation.
Scanavacca MI, Kajita LJ, Vieira M, Sosa EA.
Heart Institute (InCor), University of Sao Paulo Medical School, Brazil. arrscan@incor.usp.br

INTRODUCTION: A recently described focal origin of atrial fibrillation, mainly inside pulmonary veins, is creating new perspectives for radiofrequency catheter ablation. However, pulmonary venous stenosis may occur with uncertain clinical consequences. This report describes a veno-occlusive syndrome secondary to left pulmonary vein stenosis after radiofrequency catheter ablation. METHODS AND RESULTS: A 36-year-old man who experienced daily episodes of atrial fibrillation that was refractory to antiarrhythmic medication, including amiodarone, was enrolled in our focal atrial fibrillation radiofrequency catheter ablation protocol. The left superior pulmonary vein was the earliest site mapped, and radiofrequency ablation was performed. Atrial fibrillation was interrupted and sinus rhythm restored after one radiofrequency pulse inside the left superior pulmonary vein. Atrial fibrillation recurred and a new procedure was performed in an attempt to isolate (26 radiofrequency pulses around the ostium) the left superior pulmonary vein. Ten days later, the patient developed chest pain and hemoptysis related to severe left superior and inferior pulmonary veins stenosis. Balloon angioplasty of both veins was followed by complete relief of symptoms after 2 months of recurrent pulmonary symptoms. The patient has been asymptomatic for 12 months, without antiarrhythmic drugs. CONCLUSION: Multiple radiofrequency pulses applied inside the pulmonary veins ostia can induce severe pulmonary venous stenosis and veno-occlusive pulmonary syndrome.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1999 Feb;10(2):136-44.
Double multielectrode mapping catheters facilitate radiofrequency catheter ablation of focal atrial fibrillation originating from pulmonary veins.
Hsieh MH, Chen SA, Tai CT, Tsai CF, Prakash VS, Yu WC, Liu CC, Ding YA, Chang MS.
Department of Medicine, National Yang-Ming University, School of Medicine, and Veterans General Hospital-Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.

INTRODUCTION: Several reports have demonstrated that focal atrial fibrillation (AF) may arise from pulmonary veins (PVs). The purpose of this study was to investigate the safety and efficacy of using double multielectrode mapping catheters in ablation of focal AF. METHODS AND RESULTS: Forty-two patients (30 men, 12 women, age 65+/-14 years) with frequent attacks of paroxysmal AF were referred for catheter ablation. After atrial transseptal procedure, two long sheaths were put into the left atrium. Two decapolar catheters were put into the right superior PV (RSPV) and left superior PV (LSPV), or inferior PVs if necessary, guided by pulmonary venography. All the patients had spontaneous initiation of AF either during baseline (2 patients), after isoproterenol infusion (8 patients) or high-dose adenosine (2 patients), after short duration burst pacing under isoproterenol (14 patients), or after cardioversion of pacing-induced AF (16 patients). The trigger points of AF were from the LSPV (12 patients), RSPV (8 patients), and both superior PVs (19 patients). The trigger points from PVs (total 61 points) were 18 (30%) in the ostium of PVs and 43 inside the PVs (9 to 40 mm). After 6+/-3 applications of radiofrequency energy, 57 of 61 triggers were completely eliminated, and the other 4 triggers were partially eliminated. During a follow-up period of 8+/-2 months, 37 patients (88%) were free of symptomatic AF without any antiarrhythmic drugs. Twenty patients received a transesophageal echocardiogram, and 19 showed small atrial septal defects (2.8+/-1.2 mm) with trivial shunt. Fifteen defects closed spontaneously 1 month later. CONCLUSION: The technique using double multielectrode mapping catheters is a relatively safe and highly effective method for mapping and ablation of focal AF originating from PVs.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1999 Aug;12(8):609-17.
Assessment of diastolic function by tissue Doppler echocardiography: comparison with standard transmitral and pulmonary venous flow.
Farias CA, Rodriguez L, Garcia MJ, Sun JP, Klein AL, Thomas JD.
Cardiovascular Imaging Center, Department of Cardiology, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.

The objective of this study was to determine the utility of Doppler tissue echocardiography in the evaluation of diastolic filling and in discriminating between normal subjects and those with various stages of diastolic dysfunction. We measured myocardial velocities in 51 patients with various stages of diastolic dysfunction and in 27 normal volunteers. The discriminating power of each of the standard Doppler indexes of left ventricular filling, pulmonary venous flow, and myocardial velocities was determined with the use of Spearman rank correlation and analysis of variance F statistics. Early diastolic myocardial velocity (E(m)) was higher in normal subjects (16.0 +/- 3.8 cm/s) than in patients with either delayed relaxation (n = 15, 7.5 +/- 2.2 cm/s), pseudonormal filling (n = 26, 7.6 +/- 2.3 cm/s), or restrictive filling (n = 10, 7.4 +/- 2.4 cm/s, P <.0001). E(m ) was the best single discriminator between control subjects and patients with diastolic dysfunction (P =.7, F = 64.5). Myocardial velocities assessed by Doppler tissue echocardiography are useful in differentiating patients with normal from those with abnormal diastolic function. Myocardial velocity remains reduced even in those stages of diastolic dysfunction characterized by increased preload compensation.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1997 Apr;10(3):246-70.
The noninvasive assessment of left ventricular diastolic function with two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography.
Oh JK, Appleton CP, Hatle LK, Nishimura RA, Seward JB, Tajik AJ.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Left ventricular diastolic filling can be determined reliably by Doppler-derived mitral and pulmonary venous flow velocities. Diastolic filling abnormalities are broadly classified at their extremes to impaired relaxation and restrictive physiology with many patterns in between. An impaired relaxation pattern identifies patients with early stages of heart disease, and appropriate therapy may avert progression and functional disability. Pseudonormalization is a transitional phase between abnormal relaxation and restrictive physiology and signifies increased filling pressure and decreased compliance. In this phase, reducing preload, optimizing afterload, and treating the underlying disease are clinically helpful. A restrictive physiology pattern identifies advanced, usually symptomatic disease with a poor prognosis. Therapeutic intervention is directed toward normalizing loading conditions and improving the restrictive filling pattern, although this may not be feasible in certain heart diseases. Finally, many patients have left ventricular filling patterns that appear indeterminate or mixed. In these cases, clinical information, left atrial and left ventricular size, pulmonary venous flow velocity, and alteration of preload help assess diastolic function and estimate diastolic filling pressures.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1995 Nov-Dec;8(6):888-96.
Evaluation of pulmonary vein stenosis by transesophageal echocardiography.
Obeid AI, Carlson RJ.
Department of Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse, USA.

Pulmonary vein stenosis was diagnosed by transesophageal echocardiography in five patients who underwent the study for different clinical indications. Stenosis was encountered in the right upper pulmonary vein in two patients, the right lower pulmonary vein in two patients, and at the confluence of the left pulmonary veins in one patient. In only one patient was the diagnosis suspected on transthoracic echocardiography. Contralateral normal veins from the same patient served as the control. Vessel diameter and peak flow velocity were measured and compared. The diameter of the stenosed veins ranged from 0.3 to 0.8 cm (mean 0.4 +/- 0.09 cm [SEM]), whereas for normal veins the diameter was 0.9 to 1.2 cm (mean 1.0 +/- 0.05 cm [SEM]; p < 0.001). Peak flow velocity in the stenosed veins ranged from 1.1 to 1.6 m/sec (mean 1.4 +/- 0.1 m/sec [SEM]), whereas in normal veins peak flow velocity ranged from 0.4 to 0.7 m/sec (mean 0.6 +/- 0.04 m/sec [SEM]; p < 0.001). There was a strong negative correlation between vessel diameter and peak flow velocity (R = 0.89; p < 0.001). Peak flow velocity of 0.8 m/sec appears to provide the best separation between normal and stenosed pulmonary veins. We conclude that pulmonary vein stenosis is associated with increased flow velocity and turbulence and deformity of the flow signal. Transesophageal echocardiography is a powerful tool in the study of pulmonary vein stenosis.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1995 Jan-Feb;8(1):97-9.
Tumor invasion of the pulmonary veins: a unique source of systemic embolism detected by transesophageal echocardiography.
Gandhi AK, Pearson AC, Orsinelli DA.
Department of Medicine, Ohio State University, Columbus, USA.

Two patients with a malignancy involving the lungs and spontaneous systemic embolization in whom transesophageal echocardiography detected masses consistent with tumor invading the pulmonary veins are reported. In the first patient, tumor embolization resulted in acute aortic obstruction. Transesophageal echocardiography revealed tumor present in the pulmonary veins that extended into the left atrium. This was confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging. The second patient had a stroke. Transesophageal echocardiography demonstrated a mass in the right pulmonary vein in this patient as well. In patients with pulmonary malignancy who have a systemic embolic event, tumor emboli from the pulmonary vein should be included in the differential diagnosis of possible causes of the event. Transesophageal echocardiography is a valuable tool for diagnosis of tumor involvement of the pulmonary veins in such patients.

Am Heart J. 1994 Aug;128(2):293-300.
Estimation of left ventricular diastolic pressures from precordial pulsed-Doppler analysis of pulmonary venous and mitral flow.
Brunazzi MC, Chirillo F, Pasqualini M, Gemelli M, Franceschini-Grisolia E, Longhini C, Giommi L, Barbaresi F, Stritoni P.
Department of Cardiology, Civic Hospital, Legnago, Italy.

Because analysis of pulmonary venous flow (PVF) will be extensively used in comprehensive Doppler assessment of left ventricular diastolic function, this study was designed to (1) evaluate the feasibility of PVF measurement in 116 consecutive patients with various cardiac abnormalities by using precordial pulsed Doppler echocardiography; (2) Estimate mean pulmonary capillary pressure (MPCP) and left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP) from Doppler variables of PVF and mitral inflow; and (3) evaluate the influence of clinical and hemodynamic variables on PVF Doppler patterns. We adequately recorded anterograde PVF in 96 (82.7%) patients and retrograde PVF in 45 (38.7%) patients. The strongest correlation between MPCP and Doppler variables of PVF was found with systolic fraction (the systolic velocity time integral expressed as a fraction of total anterograde PVF) (r = -0.88; p < 0.001). Age influenced this relation, with progressive increase of the systolic fraction in older patients. A good correlation (r = 0.72; p < 0.001) was found between LVEDP and the difference in duration of the reversal PVF and the mitral a wave. In conclusion, (1) PVF can be recorded adequately in most patients with precordial Doppler echocardiography; (2) left ventricular diastolic pressures can be estimated reliably by precordial Doppler echocardiography; and (3) the clinical meaning of Doppler-derived indexes of left ventricular diastolic performance is age-related.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Jun;21(7):1687-96.
Comment in: J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Jun;21(7):1697-700.
Pulmonary venous flow velocities recorded by transthoracic Doppler ultrasound: relation to left ventricular diastolic pressures.
Rossvoll O, Hatle LK.
Department of Medicine, University of Trondheim, Norway.

OBJECTIVES. This study was conducted to investigate whether pulmonary venous flow variables measured by transthoracic Doppler ultrasound can help identify patients with elevated left ventricular end-diastolic or filling pressures, or both. BACKGROUND. A widened left atrial pressure A wave occurs when left ventricular end-diastolic pressure is increased. Increased duration of pulmonary venous flow reversal at atrial systole might therefore be a marker for elevated end-diastolic pressure. Decreased systolic pulmonary venous flow is shown to be related to increased left ventricular filling pressure in studies using transesophageal Doppler echocardiography. METHODS. Left ventricular pressures at late diastole were measured by fluid-filled catheters in 50 consecutive patients undergoing diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Pulmonary venous and mitral flow velocities were recorded by transthoracic pulsed Doppler ultrasound. RESULTS. Adequate recordings were obtained in 45 patients. Pulmonary venous flow reversal exceeding the duration of the mitral A wave predicted left ventricular end-diastolic pressure > 15 mm Hg with a sensitivity of 0.85 and a specificity of 0.79. This difference in flow duration correlated well with the increase in ventricular pressure (r = 0.70, p < 0.001) at atrial systole and the end-diastolic pressure (r = 0.68, p < 0.001). The systolic fraction of pulmonary venous flow was markedly decreased (< 0.4) in all patients with a pre-A pressure (left ventricular pressure before atrial systole) > 18 mm Hg. CONCLUSIONS. Pulmonary venous flow reversal exceeding the duration of the mitral A wave indicates an exaggerated increase in left ventricular late diastolic pressure. Pulmonary venous systolic fraction < 0.4 suggests markedly increased ventricular filling pressure.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1993 Mar-Apr;6(2):115-23.
Importance of sampling both pulmonary veins in grading mitral regurgitation by transesophageal echocardiography.
Klein AL, Bailey AS, Cohen GI, Stewart WJ, Duffy CI, Pearce GL, Salcedo EE.
Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195.

Pulmonary venous flow patterns have been used to assess severity of mitral regurgitation; however, the issue of which pulmonary veins to sample has not been determined. We performed pulsed wave Doppler transesophageal echocardiography of both the left and right upper pulmonary veins in 80 patients who had mitral regurgitation determined by independent transesophageal echocardiography color flow mapping. Pulmonary venous flow patterns, peak systolic and diastolic flow, and the presence of reversed systolic flow were compared between the left and right pulmonary veins for each grade of mitral regurgitation. Flow patterns were discordant in 20 (25%) of the 80 patients. Of the 43 patients with 4+ mitral regurgitation, there was discordant flow in 16 (37%) of the patients with mainly reversed systolic flow in the right upper vein, while there was blunted or normal systolic flow in the left upper vein. Of the 16 patients with discordant flows, 14 had eccentric jets, mainly anteromedial jets. We conclude that if discordant flow can occur in 25% of patients with mitral regurgitation and in 37% of patients with 4+ mitral regurgitation, then both pulmonary veins must be evaluated when assessing the severity of mitral regurgitation with pulsed wave Doppler transesophageal echocardiography.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Dec;22(7):1935-43.
Differentiation of constrictive pericarditis from restrictive cardiomyopathy by Doppler transesophageal echocardiographic measurements of respiratory variations in pulmonary venous flow.
Klein AL, Cohen GI, Pietrolungo JF, White RD, Bailey A, Pearce GL, Stewart WJ, Salcedo EE.
Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195.

OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to test the utility of measuring respiratory variation in pulmonary venous flow by transesophageal echocardiography. BACKGROUND. Respiratory variation of atrioventricular and central venous flow velocities by Doppler echocardiography has been used to differentiate constrictive pericarditis from restrictive cardiomyopathy. METHODS. We performed pulsed wave Doppler transesophageal echocardiography of the left or right pulmonary veins in 31 patients with diastolic dysfunction. Fourteen patients had constrictive pericarditis, and 17 had restrictive cardiomyopathy. We measured the pulmonary venous peak systolic and diastolic flow velocities and the systolic/diastolic flow ratio with transesophageal echocardiography during expiration and inspiration. The percent change in Doppler flow velocity from expiration to inspiration (%E) was calculated. RESULTS. Pulmonary venous peak systolic flow in both inspiration and expiration was greater in constrictive pericarditis than in restrictive cardiomyopathy. The %E for peak systolic flow tended to be higher in constrictive pericarditis (19% vs. 10%, p = 0.09). In contrast, pulmonary venous peak diastolic flow during inspiration was lower in constrictive pericarditis than in restrictive cardiomyopathy. The %E for peak diastolic flow was larger in constrictive pericarditis (29% vs. 16%, p = 0.008). The pulmonary venous systolic/diastolic flow ratio was greater in constrictive pericarditis in both inspiration and expiration. The combination of pulmonary venous systolic/diastolic flow ratio > or = 0.65 in inspiration and a %E for peak diastolic flow > or = 40% correctly classified 86% of patients with constrictive pericarditis. CONCLUSIONS. The relatively larger pulmonary venous systolic/diastolic flow ratio and greater respiratory variation in pulmonary venous systolic, and especially diastolic, flow velocities by transesophageal echocardiography can be useful signs in distinguishing constrictive pericarditis from restrictive cardiomyopathy.

Am J Cardiol. 1991 Jun 15;67(16):1396-404.
Pulmonary venous flow velocity pattern as assessed with transthoracic pulsed Doppler echocardiography in subjects without cardiac disease.
Masuyama T, Lee JM, Tamai M, Tanouchi J, Kitabatake A, Kamada T.
First Department of Medicine, Osaka University School of Medicine, Japan.

Pulmonary venous flow velocity pattern (PVFVP) was analyzed in 53 subjects (aged 25 to 77 years, mean 47) without cardiovascular disease who underwent transthoracic pulsed Doppler echocardiography. The forward flow velocity pattern was biphasic in 37 of the 53 subjects, with each of the 2 peaks in systole and diastole; flow was triphasic with 2 peaks in systole and the other peak in diastole in the remaining 16 subjects. Peak systolic and diastolic flow velocity ranged from 28 to 84 cm/s and from 27 to 71 cm/s, respectively. Mean systolic flow velocity was significantly greater than mean diastolic flow velocity (53 +/- 12 vs 47 +/- 11 cm/s, p less than 0.01). Systolic flow velocity and the ratio of systolic to diastolic flow velocity increased and diastolic flow velocity decreased with aging (r = 0.52, p less than 0.001, r = 0.70, p less than 0.001 and r = -0.49, p less than 0.001, respectively). Reverse flow occurred during the atrial contraction phase and its velocity (mean 20 cm/s) increased with aging (r = 0.56, p less than 0.001). The parameters of PVFVP were compared with the ratio of peak early diastolic filling velocity to peak filling velocity at atrial contraction (E/A ratio) measured in the transmitral flow velocity pattern. As E/A ratio increased, systolic flow velocity and systolic/diastolic flow ratio and peak reverse flow velocity decreased (r = -0.40, p less than 0.01, r = -0.67, p less than 0.001 and r = -0.68, p less than 0.001, respectively) and diastolic flow velocity increased (r = 0.58, p less than 0.001).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1991 Jun;17(7):1499-506.
Effect of mitral regurgitation on pulmonary venous velocities derived from transesophageal echocardiography color-guided pulsed Doppler imaging.
Castello R, Pearson AC, Lenzen P, Labovitz AJ.
Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri.

The effect of mitral regurgitation on pulmonary venous flow velocity was studied in 66 patients undergoing transesophageal echocardiography. Nine patients were studied intraoperatively before and after surgery, so that 75 pulmonary venous flow tracings were analyzed. Fifty-four patients had no significant (0 to 1+) mitral regurgitation and 21 had significant (2 to 3+) mitral regurgitation. Comparison of both groups revealed significant differences in the pulmonary venous flow pattern. In patients with no significant mitral regurgitation, the peak systolic velocity was higher (55 +/- 16 vs. -4 +/- 16 cm/s; p less than 0.0001) and the peak diastolic velocity was lower (43 +/- 13 vs. 59 +/- 17 cm/s; p less than 0.01) when compared with values in patients with significant mitral regurgitation. Consequently, the peak systolic/diastolic velocity ratio was significantly higher in the patients without significant mitral regurgitation (1.4 +/- 0.5 vs. 0.4 +/- 1.3; p less than 0.0001). The same trend was noted with respect to the systolic and diastolic velocity integrals. As the degree of mitral regurgitation increased, the peak diastolic velocity and diastolic velocity integral increased, whereas the peak systolic velocity and systolic velocity integral decreased. In patients with severe mitral regurgitation, the systolic flow became reversed (retrograde). The sensitivity of reversed systolic flow for severe mitral regurgitation was 90% (9 of 10), the specificity was 100% (65 of 65), the positive predictive value was 100% (9 of 9), the negative predictive value was 98% (65 of 66) and the predictive accuracy was 99% (74 of 75).

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1991 Jul-Aug;4(4):379-92.
Doppler assessment of pulmonary venous flow in healthy subjects and in patients with heart disease.
Klein AL, Tajik AJ.
Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, OH 44195.

Pulmonary venous flow as assessed by Doppler echocardiography is a current topic of investigation. Pulmonary venous flow has been used recently as part of a comprehensive assessment of left ventricular diastolic filling dynamics in restrictive myocardial diseases and constrictive pericarditis. Abnormalities of flow have been described in dilated cardiomyopathy, congenital heart disease, and arrhythmias. With the advent of transesophageal echocardiography, pulmonary venous flow can be readily obtained in all patients by pulsed-wave Doppler echocardiography. Recently, it has been used to assess the severity of mitral regurgitation and to estimate mean left atrial pressure. This article emphasizes the utility, physiology, and technique of measuring pulmonary venous flow with Doppler echocardiography in health and in disease.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1991 Aug;18(2):518-26.
Transesophageal Doppler echocardiography of pulmonary venous flow: a new marker of mitral regurgitation severity.
Klein AL, Obarski TP, Stewart WJ, Casale PN, Pearce GL, Husbands K, Cosgrove DM, Salcedo EE.
Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44106.

Pulmonary venous flow varies with different cardiac conditions. Flow patterns in response to mitral regurgitation have not been well studied, but flows may vary enough to differentiate among different grades of regurgitation. Accordingly, pulmonary venous flow velocities were recorded in 50 consecutive patients referred for outpatient (n = 26) or intraoperative (mitral valve repair; n = 24) echocardiographic examination for mitral regurgitation. Recordings were made of right and left upper pulmonary veins with pulsed wave Doppler transesophageal echocardiography. Mitral regurgitation was graded from 1+ to 4+ by an independent observer using transesophageal color flow mapping. The results of cardiac catheterization performed 5 weeks earlier in 43 of the patients were also graded for mitral regurgitation by an independent observer. Pulmonary venous flow patterns, the presence of reversed systolic flow and peak systolic and diastolic flow velocities were compared with the severity of mitral regurgitation indicated by each technique. Of the 28 patients with 4+ regurgitation by transesophageal color flow mapping, 26 (93%) had reversed systolic flow. The sensitivity of reversed systolic flow in detecting 4+ mitral regurgitation by transesophageal color flow mapping was 93% and the specificity was 100%. The sensitivity and specificity of reversed systolic flow in detecting 4+ mitral regurgitation by cardiac catheterization were 86% and 81%, respectively. Discordant flows were observed in 9 (24%) of 38 patients; the left vein usually showed blunted systolic flow and the right showed reversed systolic flow. In 22 intraoperative patients, there was "normalization" of pulmonary venous systolic flow after mitral valve repair in the postcardiopulmonary bypass study compared with the prebypass study after the mitral regurgitant leak was corrected.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Am Heart J. 1991 Nov;122(5):1495-8.
Assessment of pulmonary vein stenosis by transesophageal echocardiography.
Samdarshi TE, Morrow WR, Helmcke FR, Nanda NC, Bargeron LM Jr, Pacifico AD.
Department of Pediatric Cardiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.

Am Heart J. 1991 Dec;122(6):1683-93.
Pulmonary venous flow patterns by transesophageal pulsed Doppler echocardiography: relation to parameters of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function.
Kuecherer HF, Kusumoto F, Muhiudeen IA, Cahalan MK, Schiller NB.
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.

We have previously shown that the systolic and diastolic pulmonary venous flow (PVF) distribution is predictive of left atrial pressure. This study was designed to define the confounding influences of left atrial expansion, descent of the mitral anulus, and left ventricular contractile function on that relationship; to define normal PVF patterns; and to document the interaction of PVF with mitral inflow. Therefore we studied 27 consecutive intraoperative patients with coronary artery disease (22 men and 5 women, ages 35 to 78 years) using transesophageal echocardiography. A group of 12 normal subjects served as a control. Doppler and two-dimensional echocardiographic parameters were obtained simultaneously with monitoring pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP). We found that neither left atrial expansion nor the descent of the mitral anulus influenced the relationship between PVF and PCWP, but that left ventricular fractional shortening confounded this relationship. In normal subjects PVF was dominant in systole, whereas PVF in patients with elevated PCWP was dominant in diastole (systolic fraction of 68 +/- 6% [SD] in normals versus 42 +/- 15% in patients with PCWP greater than or equal to 15 mm Hg). PVF velocities interacted with transmitral flow velocities. Peak early diastolic mitral inflow velocities increased linearly with peak early diastolic PVF velocities (r = 0.62). We conclude that systolic and diastolic PVF distribution is mainly determined by the level of PCWP and to a lesser extent by left ventricular contraction, but not by left atrial expansion or by mitral anulus descent. Transesophageal pulsed Doppler echocardiography of PVF provides useful clinical information about the level of PCWP in intraoperative patients with coronary artery disease.

Radiology. 1991 Dec;181(3):645-9.
Abnormalities of the pulmonary veins: evaluation with MR imaging and comparison with cardiac angiography and echocardiography.
Masui T, Seelos KC, Kersting-Sommerhoff BA, Higgins CB.
Department of Radiology, University of California, San Francisco 94143.

Seventy-seven patients underwent T1-weighted spin-echo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Group 1 (n = 56) consisted of patients with various types of congenital heart disease but normal pulmonary veins. Group 2 (n = 22) consisted of patients with the following conditions: partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection (n = 11), total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (n = 5), cor triatriatum (n = 4), or pulmonary vein stenosis (n = 2). In group 1, the sites of connections of all four pulmonary veins were identified with MR imaging in 88% of cases; the connections of at least three pulmonary veins were seen in all patients. In group 2, the prospective detection rate of pulmonary venous abnormalities with MR imaging was 95%. The prospective detection rates of pulmonary venous abnormalities with cardiac angiography (n = 13) and echo-cardiography (n = 13) were 69% and 38%, respectively. This study indicates that MR imaging can accurately demonstrate the normal pulmonary veins and abnormalities of the pulmonary veins.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1991 Dec;18(7):1746-51.
Two-dimensional echocardiography in the pre- and postoperative management of totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection.
van der Velde ME, Parness IA, Colan SD, Spevak PJ, Lock JE, Mayer JE Jr, Sanders SP.
Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

The records of 23 infants who underwent surgical repair of isolated totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection were reviewed to assess the accuracy of pre- and postoperative echocardiographic diagnoses. Preoperative echocardiographic diagnoses were accurate in 22 of 23 patients, including the sites of connection of the individual pulmonary veins. Cardiac catheterization in 13 patients confirmed the echocardiographic findings. Analysis of multiple pre- and postoperative variables revealed no statistically significant difference between the infants with and without catheterization, although there was a tendency toward a higher mortality rate in the catheterized group. Postoperative echocardiographic examination revealed obstruction to pulmonary venous return in 7 of 19 patients. Catheterization confirmed the echocardiographic findings, localizing the obstruction in one patient. The size of the venoatrial anastomosis was measured on postoperative echocardiograms performed on 14 patients. The cross-sectional area of the anastomosis was less than 0.3 cm2/m2 of body surface area in the four patients with obstruction of the anastomosis, and greater than 0.95 cm2/m2 in all long-term survivors examined. Two-dimensional echocardiography with pulsed Doppler examination and Doppler color flow mapping is an excellent means of diagnosing totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection. The connections of the individual pulmonary veins can be identified in nearly all cases. Surgical repair can usually be undertaken on the basis of echocardiographic diagnosis alone. Echocardiography also provides an extremely accurate method of evaluating surgical repair and of identifying and localizing postoperative obstruction to pulmonary venous return.

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