Turbulent blood flow in humans: its primary role in the production of ejection murmurs.
To clarify the postulate that turbulence may produce ejection murmurs, point velocity and sound were measured in the ascending aorta of 13 subjects: six with normal aortic valves, six with aortic valvular disease, and one with a Bjork-Shiley prosthetic aortic valve. Velocity was measured with a catheter-tip hot film anemometer probe, and sound was measured with a catheter-tip micromanometer. Ejection murmurs detected intra-arterially were always found to be associated with turbulent or highly disturbed flow. Conversely, in the absence of intra-arterial sound during ejection, only minor disturbances of flow were detected. A linear relation between the sound energy density and turbulent energy density was shown (r = 0.92) and a linear relation between the acoustic power output (sound intensity) and turbulent power supply (r = 0.87) also was shown. Studies in vitro of sound and point velocity distal to a porcine valve inserted within a cast of the aorta, which permitted precise centering of the transducers along the axis of flow, confirmed these observations. When the power generated by the turbulence exceeded 3 ergs/sec per cm2, the murmurs were audible at the chest wall. The clinical gradation of the intensity of the murmurs increased as the power of turbulence increased. In conclusion, in this study we have demonstrated a clear association between turbulent blood flow and systolic ejection murmurs.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association