Systolic closure of the aortic valve was found in 10 of 36 patients who underwent mitral valve replacement. Eight patients had early systolic closure, and two had mid-systolic closure. The left ventricular outflow tract dimension on M-mode and two dimensional echocardiograms, left ventricular posterior wall and septal thickness, left ventricular dimensions in systole and diastole, aortic valve opening, and mitral to aortic valve distance were not significantly different between patients with and without systolic closure of the aortic valve. Two of the 10 patients with systolic aortic valve closure were catheterised and in neither was there a gradient between the left ventricle and the aorta. The two patients with mid-systolic closure, however, were the patients who had the narrowest left ventricular outflow tract which could cause significant distortion of blood flow. Systolic closure of the aortic valve in patients with mitral valve replacement is probably not caused by left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, though abnormalities in laminar flow from the left ventricular outflow tract may be involved.
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