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Long axis excursion in aortic stenosis


OBJECTIVES To examine long axis excursion in patients with all grades of aortic stenosis and preserved transverse systolic function, and to compare long axis excursion in symptomatic with that in asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis.

DESIGN Prospective comparative study.

SETTING Regional cardiothoracic centre.

PATIENTS 78 patients with all grades of aortic stenosis and normal fractional shortening and ejection fraction were studied. There were two comparison groups, 10 age matched normal subjects and 14 patients with aortic stenosis and fractional shortening < 26%.

METHODS Aortic valve function and left ventricular mass were assessed echocardiographically. M mode measurements of long axis excursion at the septal and lateral sides of the mitral annulus were taken.

RESULTS There were significant differences between the groups in long axis excursion at both the septal (p < 0.0001) and lateral sides of the mitral annulus (p = 0.002 by analysis of variance). Long axis excursion was independently related to both left ventricular mass index (p = 0.001) and the grade of aortic stenosis (p = 0.002). Comparing patients with severe aortic stenosis with and without symptoms, there were significant differences in effective orifice area (p = 0.02 ) and long axis excursion at the lateral side of the mitral annulus (p = 0.04), but not in fractional shortening, ejection fraction, or peak or mean pressure difference.

CONCLUSION In patients with aortic stenosis, long axis excursion is reduced even in the presence of normal fractional shortening or ejection fraction. It is lower in patients with symptomatic compared with asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis and may be of use in predicting the onset of symptoms.

  • aortic stenosis
  • long axis excursion
  • symptoms

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