Age-related Prevalence of Valvular Regurgitation in Normal Subjects: A Comprehensive Color Flow Examination of 118, Volunteers

Allan L. Klein, Darryl J. Burstow, A. Jamil Tajik, Prince K. Zachariah, Charles P. Taliercio, Catherine L. Taylor, Kent R. Bailey, James B. Seward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

145 Scopus citations


We prospectively assessed the influence of aging on the prevalence of valvular regurgitation by using color flow imaging. One hundred eighteen healthy volunteers (21 to 82 years old) had a two-dimensional Doppler echocardiographic study that included color flow imaging to assess valvular regurgitation and that was semiquantitated by mapping the dimensions of the color flow regurgitant jet in orthogonal views. The subjects were divided into two groups: group 1 consisted of subjects who were younger than 50 years old (n = 61), and group 2,consisted of subjects who were at least 50 years old (n = 57). Mitral regurgitation was detected in 57 (48%) of the 118 subjects: 24 subjects (39%) in group 1 and 33 subjects (58%) in group 2. The severity of mitral regurgitation was trivial to mild. Aortic regurgitation was detected in 13 (11%) of the 118 subjects, all in group 2. The severity was trivial to mild. Tricuspid regurgitation was detected in 77 (65%) of the 118 subjects: 35 (57%) in group 1 and 42 (74%) in group 2. The severity was trivial to mild. Pulmonary regurgitation was detected in 24 (31%) of 78 subjects: nine (22%) in group 1 and 15 (41%) in group 2. The severity was trivial. These findings suggest that valvular regurgitation of a trivial or mild degree is a frequent finding in normal subjects and that it increases with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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