INTRODUCTION: It is important to detect and evaluate Tricuspid Regurgitation (TR) because it may lead to increased long-term morbidity and mortality. Invasive methods of quantitating TR severity have major limitations and pitfalls. Color Doppler is the most practical of the noninvasive quantitation methods. This can be used in the assessment of systolic flow reversal in the vena cava and hepatic veins, effective regurgitant orifice (ERO) by proximal isovelocity surface area (PISA) and volumetric method and visual assessment of TR jet but all have limitations. Vena contracta width (VCW) have been used to assess severity mitral and aortic regurgitation. Therefore, VCW has potential as a simple but physiological index of TR severity but remains to be validated
OBJECTIVE: To assess usefulness of VCW by color Doppler imaging in quantitating severity of chronic TR.
METHODS: The VCW of 50 patients with chronic TR, from January to October 2000, were measured using color Doppler imaging. The values of VCW were compared using statistical analysis to ERO by volumetric method and regurgitant index.
RESULTS: This study has shown that there is a good correlation between VCW and ERO by volumetric method. The VCW also showed significant correlation with TR jet severity by regurgitant index.
CONCLUSION: Direct measurement of the VCW is a new and promising method for quantitating severity of TR