Diagnostic value of mitral annular velocity for constrictive pericarditis in the absence of respiratory variation in mitral inflow velocity

Jong Won Ha, Jae Kuen Oh, Steve R. Ommen, Lieng H. Ling, A. Jamil Tajik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations


Respiratory variation of 25% or more in transmitral early diastolic filling (E) velocity is a well-recognized diagnostic feature of constrictive pericarditis (CP) that is useful for distinguishing it from restrictive cardiomyopathy. However, a subset of patients with CP do not exhibit the typical respiratory change. Recent data showed that mitral annular (E′) velocity measured by Doppler tissue echocardiography (DTE) is markedly reduced in patients with restrictive cardiomyopathy whereas E′ velocity is well-preserved in CP. This study evaluated the role of DTE for the diagnosis of CP when there is no characteristic respiratory variation of E velocity. From September 1999 to March 2001, 19 patients (17 men, 2 women; mean age, 57 ± 13 years) with surgically confirmed CP underwent comprehensive echocardiography preoperatively, including pulsed wave and DTE examination with simultaneous recording of respiration. Nine (47%) of the 19 patients had less than 25% respiratory variation in E velocity. There was no significant difference in mitral inflow peak velocity, deceleration time, early-to-late ventricular filling ratio, and E′ velocity between patients with and patients without respiratory variation of E velocity of 25% or more. Regardless of the presence or absence of a significant respiratory variation of E velocity, E′ velocity was relatively normal (mean, 12 ± 4 cm/s) in all patients with CP. In conclusion, E′ velocity is well preserved in patients with isolated CP even when there is no characteristic respiratory variation of E velocity. Thus, when the respiratory variation in Doppler E velocity is blunted or absent during the evaluation of suspected CP in patients with restrictive mitral inflow velocity, preserved E′ velocity shown by DTE should support the diagnosis of CP over a primary myocardial disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1468-1471
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

Cite this