Parasternal pulsed Doppler echocardiographic examinations of the left atrium were prospectively performed in 14 pediatric patients, aged 2 weeks to 8 years, in order to characterize the left atrial flow pattern in children. None of the patients had clinical or cardiac catheterization evidence (9 of 14 patients) of either mitral regurgitation, right-to-left shunts at the atrial level, or anomalies of pulmonary venous drainage. In all 14 patients, a systolic-diastolic positive velocity pattern could be recorded within the left atrium. Furthermore, this pattern was more readily detected in those children with left-to-right shunts. We conclude that continuous positive velocity patterns are commonly recorded in the left atria of children and probably represent pulmonary venous return. Demonstration of this signal is contingent on proper orientation of the transducer with respect to pulmonary venous flow.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine