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Aortic regurgitation severity after transcatheter aortic valve implantation is underestimated by echocardiography compared with MRI
  1. Stefan Orwat1,
  2. Gerhard-Paul Diller1,
  3. Gerrit Kaleschke1,
  4. Gregor Kerckhoff1,
  5. Aleksander Kempny1,
  6. Robert M Radke1,
  7. Boris Buerke2,
  8. Matthias Burg2,
  9. Christoph Schülke2,
  10. Helmut Baumgartner1
  1. 1Division of Adult Congenital and Valvular Heart Disease, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University Hospital Muenster, Muenster, Germany
  2. 2Department of Clinical Radiology, University Hospital of Muenster, Muenster, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Helmut Baumgartner, Division of Adult Congenital and Valvular Heart Disease, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, University Hospital Muenster, Albert-Schweitzer-Campus 1, Muenster 48149, Germany; helmut.baumgartner{at}


Objective Aortic regurgitation (AR) after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is associated with a poor clinical outcome and its assessment therefore crucial. Quantification of AR by transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), however, remains challenging in this setting. The present study used quantitative flow measurement by cardiac MRI (CMR) with calculation of regurgitant fraction (RF) for the assessment of AR and compared the results with TTE.

Methods and results We included 65 patients with a mean age of 82.2±8.1 years (38 women) who underwent successful TAVI with Edwards SAPIEN valves (52 transfemoral, 13 transapical). The postinterventional degree of AR was assessed by CMR and by TTE. There was agreement between CMR and TTE with regards to the absence of severe AR. However, TTE significantly underestimated the presence of moderate AR classifying it to be mild in 38 and moderate in only 5 patients, whereas CMR found mild AR in 23 and moderate in 16 patients. Overall, there was only fair agreement between CMR and TTE regarding the grading of AR with a weighted κ of 0.33. The rate of detection of TTE for more than mild AR was only 19%.

Conclusions Using CMR for the quantification of AR in a sizeable group of TAVI patients, we demonstrate a strong tendency of TTE to underestimate AR compared with CMR. Since higher AR severity on echocardiography has been associated with worse patient outcome, the potential incremental prognostic value of CMR should be studied prospectively in this setting.

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