Simultaneous recordings have been made of electrocardiogram, phonocardiogram, carotid pulse tracing, left ventricular pressure, and aortic pressure in 27 children with aortic valve stenosis and 3 children with membranous subaortic stenosis. Peak systolic pressure difference ranged from 10 to 110 mmHg (1.3 to 14.6 kPa). None of the patients had congestive heart failure and cardiac output was in the normal range in all. Total electromechanical systole, left ventricular ejection time, and pre-ejection time were corrected for heart rate, age, and sex. Mild stenosis (peak systolic pressure difference less than or equal to 50 mmHg (6.7 kPa)) was present in 18, severe stenosis (peak systolic pressure difference greater than 50 mmHg) in 12 patients. The externally measured pre-ejection time and ejection time proved to be nearly equal to the corresponding intervals measured internally; from these data it is concluded that pre-ejection time and ejection time in children with aortic stenosis can be measured reliably by non-invasive methods. Mean values for corrected total electromechanical systole and ejection time were prolonged, but the corrected pre-ejection time did not differ from the normal value. When corrected time intervals were plotted against severity of the aortic stenosis as expressed by the peak systolic pressure difference or the aortic valve orifice index, a wide scatter was found. It is concluded that a normal ejection time is strong evidence against a peak systolic pressure difference of more than 50 mmHg (6.7 kPa) or an aortic valve orifice index less than 0.70 cm2 per m2 BSA. A prolonged ejection time, however, may occur in mild as well as in severe stenosis. Total electromechanical systole and pre-ejection time have no value in predicting the severity of aortic stenosis in children.
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