Aims: Evaluation of eccentric mitral regurgitation (MR) remains extremely difficult and the role played by its etiology, functional or degenerative, is not well understood. This study aimed to demonstrate the value of three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE) in the evaluation of eccentric MR identifying geometric differences in the vena contracta area between functional and degenerative etiologies. Methods and Results: We studied 61 patients with eccentric MR (30 functional and 31 degenerative). Regurgitant orifice area was determined by the two-dimensional proximal isovelocity surface area (2DPISA) and the 3DTEE methods. The ratio between maximum and minimum lengths of the vena contracta was calculated in each patient. Effective regurgitant orifice area by the 2DPISA method was smaller than that estimated by 3DTEE (0.56±0.21 vs 0.72±0.25 cm2). A better correlation between both methods was seen in degenerative mitral regurgitation (DMR; r=.83), with a mean underestimation of 8.2% by the 2DPISA method. A much worse correlation was found in functional mitral regurgitation (FMR; r=.39), where a mean underestimation by the 2DPISA method of 29.1% was observed. There was a more elongated and curved vena contracta in FMR compared to that in DMR (length ratio: 3.4±1.0 vs 2.2±0.7, P<.0001). Conclusion: Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography identifies a more elongated regurgitant orifice in eccentric FMR compared to that in eccentric DMR. This difference may explain the greater underestimation of effective regurgitant orifice area by the 2DPISA method in FMR. High-quality 3DTEE analysis of vena contracta area would be a highly recommended alternative.
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