Hemodynamic resistance as a measure of functional impairment in aortic valvular stenosis.
Calculated valve area depicts anatomical stenosis but does not quantify hemodynamic impairment. We propose that hemodynamic resistance, defined as the mean pressure gradient across the valve divided by mean flow rate during systolic ejection, gives a better indication of hemodynamic obstruction. This index was compared with Gorlin valve area in 40 patients with aortic stenosis. Calculated area ranged from 0.22 to 1.26 cm2, and mean transvalvular resistance ranged from 117 to 1,244 dyne.sec.cm-5. In general, resistance varied inversely with calculated area, but there was substantial variation about the mean relation. All of the variation could be accounted for by variations in the pressure gradients at each value of calculated area. Resistance was higher in proportion to area when flow and pressure gradient were high. Analysis of five published studies of a total of 83 valves showed that calculated area changed at least three times more than resistance when pressure gradient was varied. The utility of resistance as an index of stenosis is demonstrated by example calculations that show how during exercise a stenotic valve increases the ventricular work rate out of proportion to the work done on the peripheral resistance. These calculations are possible because hemodynamic resistance defines functional impairment in units commonly used for quantification of opposition to flow. Furthermore, resistance appears to be less dependent than area on conditions of measurement and does not require an empirical constant.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association