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 JBM  Vol.7 No.1 , January 2019
Influence of High-Velocity Blood Flow on Right-to-Left Shunt in Patients with Patent Foramen Ovale during the Valsalva Maneuver
Abstract: In this study, we investigated the changes in the right-to-left shunt (RLS) of the patent foramen ovale (PFO) at different phases of the Valsalva maneuver and analyzed the possible mechanisms. The study population consisted of 57 patients with symptoms highly suggestive of a PFO. These patients had been diagnosed with apsychia, migraine with aura, cerebral infarction, transient ischemic attack (TIA), and cerebral ischemia with unknown cause. Routine echocardiography was performed in all patients to rule out a cardiac malformation. Contrast-transcranial Doppler (c-TCD) and contrast-enhanced transthoracic echocardiography (c-TTE) were used to visualize and quantify the RLS. The standard apical four chamber view was used to observe the changes of E peak, A peak, and velocity-time integral (VTI) ratio of tricuspid blood flow during the strain phase and release phase of the Valsalva maneuver. Paired t-test was used to compare E peak, A peak, and VTI ratio of tricuspid blood flow during the different phases. The right-to-left shunt across the PFO (PFO-RLS) was graded in the two phases and compared by Kruskal-Wallis test. Compared with the strain phase of the Valsalva maneuver, the parameters of E, A, and VTI in diastolic period in patients with PFO-RLS at the release phase were significantly increased [54.30 ± 13.65 cm/s vs 100.35 ± 21.11 cm/s, 42.21 ± 12.32 cm/s vs 57.30 ± 18.88 cm/s, 10.34 ± 3.27 cm/s vs 19.58 ± 4.56 cm/s, respectively], and the difference was statistically significant. The positive consequence of PFO-RLS, as diagnosed by c-TTE with the Valsalva maneuver at the release phase of the Valsalva maneuver, was significantly higher than that at the strain phase of the Valsalva maneuver. At the beginning of release phase of the Valsalva maneuver, decreased intrathoracic pressure led to increased venous backflow into the right atrium. Thus, high-velocity blood flow rapidly pushed the PFO open, which resulted in a significant increase in the PFO-RLS. Therefore, the increase of the PFO-RLS during the Valsalva maneuver is caused by the impact of high-velocity blood flow the PFO.
Cite this paper: Zhang, X. and Liu, B. (2019) Influence of High-Velocity Blood Flow on Right-to-Left Shunt in Patients with Patent Foramen Ovale during the Valsalva Maneuver. Journal of Biosciences and Medicines, 7, 13-22. doi: 10.4236/jbm.2019.71002.
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