Of those with measurable right-sided pressures, 57 percent had a peak right ventricular and pulmonary artery systolic pressure ^30 mm Hg, and only 13 percent (or 6 percent of all patients) had pressures ^40 mm Hg. Of those with measurable RAP, 93 percent had pressures <10 mm Hg and only 7 percent had an estimated RAP >10 mm Hg. No significant age or gender differences were noted for right-sided cardiac pressures. Aortic regurgitation was identified in only 12 percent of patients (Table 2). Unlike mitral and tricuspid regurgitation, the prevalence of aortic regurgitation was strongly related to age (Fig 2). Aortic regurgitation was two to three times more prevalent (p<0.05) in patients >50 years old (17 of 98 or 17 percent) than in those aged ^50 years (8 of 108 or 7 percent). Only four patients had moderate aortic regurgitation (Fig 3), and three patients were aged >50 years.
Although two thirds of the study population were female, the ages of the women and men were statistically similar (mean 48.5 years vs 44.1 years), as were the prevalences of mitral (78 percent vs 62 percent), tricuspid (72 percent vs 59 percent), and aortic (11 percent vs 14 percent) regurgitation.
In the current report, we demonstrate an extremely high prevalence of mitral, tricuspid, and aortic regurgitation as detected by detailed Doppler evaluation with color-flow mapping, continuous-wave, and pulsed-wave Doppler in patients with structurally normal hearts by M-mode and 2D echocardiography.