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Pulmonary venous flow velocity patterns in 404 individuals without cardiovascular disease
  1. S F de Marchi,
  2. M Bodenmüller,
  3. D L Lai,
  4. C Seiler
  1. Swiss Cardiovascular Centre Bern, Cardiology, University Hospital, Freiburgstrasse, CH-3010 Bern, Switzerland
  1. Dr Seilerchristian.seiler.cardio{at}


OBJECTIVE To determine the pulmonary venous flow velocity (PVFV) values in a large normal population.

DESIGN Prospective study in consecutive individuals.

SETTING University hospital.

METHODS Among 404 normal individuals, the flow velocity pattern in the right upper pulmonary vein was recorded in 315 subjects using transthoracic echocardiography, and in both upper pulmonary veins in 100 subjects using transoesophageal echocardiography. Subjects were divided into five age groups. The PVFV values were compared between transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography within the age groups, and intraindividually between the right and left upper pulmonary veins in transoesophageal echocardiography.

RESULTS Normal PVFV values for the right upper pulmonary vein in transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography are presented. The duration of flow reversal at atrial contraction was overestimated using transthoracic echocardiography (mean (SD): 96 (21) ms in transoesophageal echocardiography, 120 (28) ms in transthoracic echocardiography, p < 0.0001). Systolic to diastolic peak flow velocity ratio (S:D) increased earlier with advancing age with transoesophageal echocardiography than with transthoracic echocardiography. Similar results were found for the corresponding time–velocity integrals. Data from the left and right upper pulmonary veins differed with respect to onset and deceleration of flow velocities, but not for flow durations or peak velocities.

CONCLUSIONS Normal PVFV values generally show a wide range. The data presented will be of value in assessing left ventricular diastolic function and mitral regurgitation using the PVFV pattern.

  • pulmonary venous flow velocity
  • Doppler echocardiography
  • mitral regurgitation

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