A granular approach to improve reproducibility of the echocardiographic assessment of paravalvular regurgitation after TAVI.

The international journal of cardiovascular imaging

PubMedID: 27464964

Abdelghani M, Ren B, Spitzer E, Tateishi H, Jonker H, Geleijnse ML, Tijssen JG, de Winter RJ, Serruys PW, Soliman OI. A granular approach to improve reproducibility of the echocardiographic assessment of paravalvular regurgitation after TAVI. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016;.
Paravalvular leak (PVL) after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is challenging to quantitate. Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) is the main tool used for the assessment of PVL but is modestly reproducible. We sought to develop a reproducible echocardiographic approach to assess PVL in the post-TAVI setting. Four observers independently analyzed eleven parameters of PVL severity in 50 pre-discharge TTE studies performed after TAVI. The parameters included color-Doppler parameters [jet circumferential extent (CE) and planimetered vena contracta area in the short-axis view and jet breadth and qualitative features in the long-axis views], continuous-wave Doppler parameters [jet velocity time integral (VTI) and pressure half time (PHT)], quantitative Doppler parameters (regurgitation volume and fraction and effective regurgitant orifice area), aortic diastolic flow reversal and valve stent eccentricity. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and coefficient of variation (CV) for numerical parameters and kappa coefficient (?) for categorical parameters were calculated for inter- and intra-observer comparisons. Inter-observer ICC was highest and CV lowest for CE (0. 88 and 0. 36), jet origin breadth (0. 82 and 0. 39), jet qualitative features in long-axis views (0. 87 and 0. 26), jet VTI (0. 87 and 0. 04) and PHT (0. 73 and 0. 10). Similar results were found in intra-observer comparisons. A 2-step granular approach combining the most reproducible parameters was used to grade PVL by the four observers. Inter-observer agreement was achieved in 86?% of cases (??=?0. 79). Combining color Doppler and continuous wave Doppler parameters in a granular algorithm yields excellent reproducibility of PVL assessment by TTE.