Archive for the ‘valvular heart disease’ Category

Squatting is a simple physical  maneuver that can  be done in bed side.

  • Squatting  increases  systemic venous return.
  • Raises aortic after load and SVR

It is  ideal to do  “Stand -Squat -Stand” sequence to appreciate the attenuation during squatting and augmentation during standing

squatting dynamic auscultation mvps mitral valve prolapse


MVPS-MR is  a pre load (LV volume )  dependent phenomenon.The degree of prolapse is inversely proportional to the LV size.

Squatting increases the venous return and after load both tend to  increase the LV volume. More blood in the LV  , means mitral leaflet floats much closer to the  mitral annulus . Hence the  force of LV contractility is not only  less on the prolapsing  leaflet , it  reaches late ,  hence the click is delayed  and murmur is short (It may be less intense as well * )

(* Squatting increases aortic after load hence the murmur of MR  may  get amplified .)


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Your guess  was correct  if  only it is  “C”


Suvarna JC. Watson’s water hammer pulse. J Postgrad Med  ;54:163-5 :2008


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Under physiological condition ,  pre-load , after load , and cardiac  contractility should be a sequentially matching parameters . After load mismatch is an important concept , where myocardial contractility is temporarily  depressed due to  lack of adequate pre-load for a given level of after load .

This is also  referred to as descending limb LV function paradox .

The three  common clinical situation  AL mismatch  occurs

  1. Critical Aortic stenosis              (High aortic after load )
  2. Acute Hypertension                   (High after Load -Normal and  low pre-load)
  3. Severe diastolic dysfunction  (Pre-load is high -After load is normal )

If it happens acutely the myocardium becomes dyfunctional  due to  mechanical non ischemic stunning .Once the after load comes down the contractility improves .

What  is the chronic adoptive response to after load mismatch ?

LVH is the major  chronic adoptive response to AL mismatch.

LVH reduces the wall stress which will reduce the after load  indirectly .

So LVH neutralises the   high  after load .Laplace law at work . (Wall stress is equal to  2 times the radius divided by thickness of the wall )

Here  is the Link to the great lecture by John Ross Jr  in LA Jolla , California in one of the annual scientific session of AHA   more than 25 years ago . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/966366 .The concept is alive and kicking even today .I am sorry to  note   this  important physiological concept   never received the attention it deserves .  I would vouch , it  can be as   important as Frank starling  principle .

Reference :



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A 32 year old unmarried female with rheumatic heart disease   presented with class  3 dyspnea . She had severe mitral  stenosis with significant calcification , subvalvular fusion , and  a LA appendage clot . She had an aortic valve  which showed mild to moderate AR*  was  and  mild  Aortic stenosis ( Peak  Aoric gradient 30mmhg ).LV diastolic dimension was 40mm and systolic 26 mm .LA was huge 48 X 56 mm  EF was 66 % .

* The patient was having three echo reports done in various parts of the state ranging from mild  to severe  AR . I did the echo myself and I  was convinced  ,  it can at best termed as Mild AR . Let us take it as moderate AR for discussion  

To my surprise  , this patient  was   being planned for double valve replacement . (MVR  and AVR ) .

I agreed with MVR since the valve was completely  damaged and neither PTMC or mitral valve repair  is possible.

However  , I was taken aback   , how can  one  plan for a  AVR for mild aortic valve disease ? I  asked the surgeon  ?

The answer was even more a shocker to me .

Since we are  opening the chest for MVR it is better to replace Aortic valve as well . Since  repeat surgery can be avoided .

The surgeon seemed to be very much convinced about this argument .

I asked him ,   is the mortality /morbidity due to DVR is too high  to take a risk .

The LV dimension is absolutely  normal (In fact it is less than normal !)  so  the AR is definitely not significant .

The surgeon was in no mood to leave me . He argued ,  Since the mitral stenosis is severe , the AR is  probably underestimated .   ” We have quiet a few experience of AR worsening after MVR” ? he asserted !

I still fail to  understand  the reasoning of the surgeon .

How is that ,  indication for AVR could vary if it is  accompanied by  mitral valve disease . If the same patient has  isolated moderate AR  AVR is  forbidden  . Poor patient !

By the way , we have problems with our patients as well .I recall an event ,   a  disappointed  patient’s  spouse  arguing  with his the doctor for not fulfilling his Initial  promise of  replacing two valves . We are living in difficult times , I agreed with the surgeon !

Do we have  alternate solutions ?

  1. Assess on table after MVR by TEE if the AR seems worsen proceed with  AVR .
  2. Modern technology might answer .Let us dream  TAVR for rheumatic valve . . . not too far ?

*Transcutananeous Aortic vale replacement .

Final message

Cardiologists and cardiac surgeons should take extra care before finalizing a decision on DVR in any combined valve disease. It may seem  easier to replace two valves . Please spend few moments silently and think about these young men and women  . Valve replacements are  not like replacing  worn tires of your car.  Do not  burden the heart with multiple artificial valves without a real need for it !

The rate of progression of Aortic valve disease following MVR  can be slower than we think . With surgical techniques and  expertise   improving every year ,   repeat aortic surgery may be done safely in selected few ,  in case it becomes necessary !

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Doppler Mitral Inflow velocity profile   is the key to  assess LV diastolic function . The ratio between  E and A has become most popular parameter .

In the absence of atrial contraction what shall we do ?

The answer is simple .  We have 2 D parameters of LV diastolic function.

LA dimension ( > 30 % basal dimension which is  usually >  4 cm  ) is a most specific marker of diastolic dysfunction in the absence of   mitral regurgitation or stenosis.

The only available  velocity E wave profile  can help .A short  E deceleration time in a short cycle  would suggest  significant diastolic dysfunction.High amplitude   E  wave  > 2  M/sec in the absence of MR  will suggest diastolic dysfunction .

Curiously  ,   it can be  assumed    an episode of   lone AF  per-se   ,  be an indicator of diastolic stress for the left atrium .

After all ,  why should a person all of a sudden develop an episode of AF .(Hypoxia, Ischemia ,  excluded )

Other parameters.

Mitral annular velocities / E propagation velocity   / E/E’  are other tissue Doppler parameters  can be used.

Pulmonary venous flow velocity is  largely not useful  (Since A reversal does not occur )

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Rheumatic valvulits , Valvular inflammation and edema  is the traditional answer .A detailed Echocardiographic study from All India Institute of medical sciences New Delhi  ,India  which was published in circulation 1996 answers this question most authentically .

From a meticulous  Echocardiographic  study of about 70 patients  (with both first and recurrent episodes of carditis ) the following findings were observed.

After reading this article one should be able to answer variety of  questions in RHD  such as

  • How common is MVPS in RHD ?
  • How often MR dissapear with Aspirin etc ?
  • Echocardiographic correlates  for care -coombs murmur ?



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While their cardiology colleagues are extravagantly indulging in coronary arteries   ,It is heartening to note the pediatricians our country has  silently come out with the first India specific  criteria for Acute Rheumatic fever diagnosis and management.

It was long over due . . . three cheers to them !

* It is ironical  these guidelines came in 2008,many of us are aware about the  existence  such guidelines , still  every one is after PTMC  for a full blown mitral stenosis !


Highlights and Summary

  • WHO criteria  of 2001 is adopted
  • ASO titre positivity alone has less value  in the diagnosis .Hence the importance of which is down graded
  • Steroids  are mandatory in all grades of carditis for 12 weeks
  • Benzathine  penicillin  should be administered weight  based and to be given  every 15 days in children less than 27 kg.

More high lights will be posted.

Secondary prophylaxis of  for Rheumatic fever

Note the Important advice regarding weight based penicillin prophylaxis.



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