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Archive for the ‘Aortic regurgitation’ Category

Murmurs are audible noises from within the Heart or vascular tree when blood flow loses its laminar flow and becomes turbulent. There are many factors responsible for it (Recall Reynold’s number ).It is obvious, that when there is hyperdynamic circulation, even in physiology one may hear a murmur. Pregnancy is a classical example and Innocent (still murmur) in children is another one.

Duroziez murmur: A brief history 

In this post let us dwell on something about a classical murmur that occurs in the peripheral circulation away from the action-packed organ heart. It was originally described by French physician  Dr Duroziez  two centuries ago. (In his own words it was called a double crural murmur ). This happened shortly after Lennec’s new era of auscultation began. When everyone was concentrating on the heart Dr. Duroziez was curiously auscultating the legs and found this crural murmur. For this out-of-the-box thinking, he is still being remembered.

In significant aortic regurgitation, we know a substantial amount of blood regurgitates back into LV. This backflow though happens in the chest and into the LV,  it is reflected all over the vascular tree. It so happens, the entire aortic forward flow for a moment slows in end-systole or even reverses at the end-systole and early diastole when the Aortic valve leaks. Almost all peripheral signs of AR are due to this. It is critical to remember, that these signs are heavily modified by arterial distensibility, associates obstruction, LV  contractility, and peripheral vascular resistance.

Is there real reflux of blood back towards the heart* ? 

Duroziez’s murmur remained controversial both for its mechanism and intriguing questions about, whether the blood really travels back in early diastole in the limbs or is just an acoustic illusion from a  pressure wave. The debate was so intense it demanded a curious animal study. The femoral artery of Dogs with induced AR was injected with contrast and retrograde blood reflux was documented up to the iliac artery and Aorta.(NEJM 1965 Ref 1) 

* While retrograde reflux of blood in the femoral artery is real, which manifests as EDM, we must understand antegrade diastolic flow murmurs or even continuous murmurs are common in hyperdynamic circulation over narrowed peripheral arteries and veins (venous hum)

**For Advanced readers: Some of the issues are not clear. Whether Duroziez murmur is truly decrescendo (Like its EDM counterpart in the Aortic area) or Is it mixed with antegrade diastolic flow murmur over the femoral artery due to hyperdynamic circulation.

Echocardiographic correlates of Duroziex murmur 

Now, we are able to document bizarre hemodynamics that happens the entire length of the vascular tree that is responsible for this murmur.(A related post 😦 In AR the run-off is central or periphery ?_)

Image courtesy: medmastery https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVhEXCO13ys 

 

 

Phoncardiography with ECG correlation, help us to  time the murmur exactly and also demonstrates reversal of flow in femoral artery  by color flow doppler.

Importance of Duroziez’s murmur & A research proposal 

Though it’s of historical interest, it is still discussed in exams. It may be amusing for the busy clinical cardiologist to auscultate over the legs, when they may be contemplating a  TAVI for leaky Aortic valve  (Arias EA,  Interv Cardiol. 2019). But, for students, it is a different story. If anyone wants to beat the acumen and curiosity of Duroziez, they may assess the length of this murmur and correlate it with descending aortic flow reversal, aortic ERO, and regurgitant fraction. The fate of Duroziez’s murmur after Aortic valve replacement may also be studied.

Final message 

Duroziex murmur is not just a vintage cardiac auscultatory sign meant for exam halls. Looking deep into it, we may get more insights into the behavior of the peripheral circulatory system in normal physiology as well as in patients with AR.  

Reference

1.Duroziez PL. Du double souffle intermittent crural, comme signe de l’insuffisance aortique. Arch Gen Méd 1861; 17: 417–443,588–605.

2. N Engl J Med 1965; 272:1207-1210

3.Jama.1933.Blumgart and Ernstene

 

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Mitral regurgitation is expected to occur only in systole during  left ventricular contraction. In rare pathological states , if   LV pressure exceeds the mean LA pressure at any point in diastole , small  puffs of regurgitation into LA can occur.The genesis of this MR and its  hemodynamic  significance has generated much interest .

Causes

  1. Aortic regurgitation -Severe . (Occurs mainly in acute AR or chronic AR with decompensated LV )
  2. AV blocks (especially complete AV block )
  3. Any cardiomyopathy with severely elevated LV diastolic pressures

Mechanism

No single mechanism is  responsible.

  • Common hemodynamic denominator  is transient cross over of LV pressure over and above LA pressure curve .
  • This tends to happen often soon after the atria contracts  specifically so , if the atrial contraction is not followed by a QRS complex as in heart block .
  • The fact that its reported even in the presence of atrial fibrillation (As in some cardiomyopathy ) atrial mechanism is not exclusive.
  • In Aortic regurgitation the mechanism is  different (More of  volume dependent ,  Read below )

diastolic mitral regurgitation animationTiming of  diastolic MR

It occurs in later part of diastole as it takes a time lapse for raising LV diastolic pressure  to cross the LAP and generate a reversed ventricular gradient.

Will there be a clinical evidence for this MR ?

Its silent in most cases .Some patients with complete heart block may  generate  mid diastolic murmur . (Rytand AHJ 1946) .Retrospectively this could be due to diastolic MR

Is there a link between Austin flint murmur and diastolic MR ?

Many researchers believe the generation of diastolic murmur in severe AR is attributable to premature closure of mitral valve and the poorly compliant LV  is not able to accommodate the leaking blood and it tends to regurgitate into  LA  through partially closed mitral valve in diastole (Ochaya  S,  Am Heart J. 74 1967:161-169)

Echo features

  • Doppler flow signal in mitral inflow is diagnostic
  • Color M-mode is ideal to map  diastolic MR.

Cath correlation

Wong has demonstrated this phenomenon by direct hemodynamic  recording in 4 patients

Further research

While the field of diastology is growing , still we are not clear how significant this MR in clinical diastolic dysfunction and acute LV failure that results in flash  edema.

Reference

5.Diastolic atrioventricular valve closure and regurgitation following atrial contraction: their relation to timing of atrial contraction.Okamoto M1, Tsubokura T, Kajiyama GClin Cardiol. 1989 Mar;12(3):149-53.
7. An auricular diastolic murmur with heart block in elderly patients.Rytand  DA; Am Heart J. 32 1946:578-598.
8. Late diastolic mitral regurgitation secondary to aortic regurgitation its relationship to the Austin-Flint murmur.ochaya  S, Igarashi  M, Schaffer  AB; Am Heart J. 74 1967:161-169

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We know aortic regurgitation causes  a deluge of   hugely popular peripheral signs of aortic run off  , which are taught  right from 2nd year medical school.

aortic runoof

When the aorta  leaks it reflects in the entire vascular tree .How is that a  leak in the remote aortic valve cause a quincke’s to and fro pulsations in the finger pulp ?

aortic-insufficiency

Is the blood in the finger  trying to follow  the regurgitant  jet  that  go back into left ventricle ? Does the to and fro murmur of  Duroziez over the  femoral artery imply  there is reversal of  blood flow in femoral artery ?

Things are  little complex than it appears

It is true the initiating event of collapsing pulse is the regurgitant jet , however the mechanism that amplifies and sustains it , lies in the altered peripheral hemodynamics.

The systemic arteriolar resistance is  dramatically low in chronic  severe AR  by a reflex phenomenon ,  as cardiac out put is increased and vascular tree adopt to it. So, with each  beat when blood is ejected two things happen in diastole .While a small fraction runs back into LV , the rest of  blood runs off , as if it goes in a free way  making all peripheral pulses dynamic , bounding and collapsible.

Hence as the name suggest all the peripheral signs of AR  are due to the peripheral mechanisms rather than primary event of aortic run off  into left ventricle.

Why carotid pulse does not show the collapsible nature of  pulse in AR  ?

If aortic leak into LV  is the dominant mechanism ,  carotid  artery should obviously manifest a collapse ,but it doesn’t  ,as carotid has no direct continuity with the  peripheral low resistance circuit

What is the hemo-dynamic  correlates of    descending  aortic flow reversal  in  severe AR ?

The central vascular tree  manifest  some  reversal till the regurgitant  velocity fades off . This can occur in severe AR, extending into certain length of aorta. This can be picked up by Doppler probe. Please realise  it is only  the wave form that get reversed  not the actual blood stream.( The momentum gained in systole  continues to push forward in-spite of the pulling back forces of regurgitation)

Why peripheral signs are  absent in acute AR ?

Acute AR even if it’s  significant does not cause a collapsing  pulse because it takes time for the peripheral vascular tree to go for vasodilatory mode.Further ,LV is also less compliant keeping the LVEDP high and regurgitant fraction low.

Summary

Answering  the title question ,the mechanism of  Aortic run off  in AR is both central and peripheral.  However  clinical  signs are largely due to high cardiac out put and the resultant   adaptive  response  of the  vascular tree due to low  systemic   vascular  resistance  triggered by  reflex  dilatation of small arterioles of the  peripheral vascular bed.

 

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