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Open access

Severe pulmonic valve regurgitation due to histoplasma endocarditis

Ewa A Konik, Merri Bremer, Peter T Lin, and Sorin V Pislaru


A 67-year-old man with myelodysplastic syndrome, disseminated histoplasmosis, and mitral valve replacement presented with dyspnea and peripheral edema. Transthoracic echocardiography demonstrated abnormal pulmonic valve with possible vegetation. Color flow imaging showed laminar flow from main pulmonary artery into right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) in diastole. The continuous wave Doppler signal showed dense diastolic envelope with steep deceleration slope. These findings were consistent with severe pulmonic valve regurgitation, possibly due to endocarditis. Transesophageal echocardiography demonstrated an echodense mass attached to the pulmonic valve. The mitral valve bioprosthesis appeared intact. Bacterial and fungal blood cultures were negative; however, serum histoplasma antigen was positive. At surgery, the valve appeared destroyed by vegetations. Gomori methenamine silver-stains showed invasive fungal hyphae and yeast consistent with a dimorphic fungus. Valve cultures grew one colony of filamentous fungus. Itraconazole was continued based on expert infectious diseases diagnosis. After surgery, dyspnea and ankle edema resolved. To the best of our knowledge, histoplasma endocarditis of pulmonic valve has not been previously reported. Isolated pulmonic valve endocarditis is rare, accounting for about 2% of infectious endocarditis (IE) cases. Fungi account for about 3% of cases of native valve endocarditis. Characterization of pulmonary valve requires thorough interrogation with 2D and Doppler echocardiography techniques. Parasternal RVOT view allowed visualization of the pulmonary valve and assessment of regurgitation severity. As an anterior structure, it may be difficult to image with transesophageal echocardiography. Mid-esophageal right ventricular inflow–outflow view clearly showed the pulmonary valve and vegetation.

Learning points

  • Identification and characterization of pulmonary valve abnormalities require thorough interrogation with 2D and Doppler echocardiography techniques.

  • Isolated pulmonary valve IE is rare and requires high index of suspicion.

  • Histoplasma capsulatum IE is rare and requires high index of suspicion.

Open access

Prevalence of moderate-to-severe TR suitable for percutaneous intervention in TTE patients

Z H Teoh, J Roy, J Reiken, M Papitsas, J Byrne, and M J Monaghan

Moderate-to-severe tricuspid regurgitation is associated with higher mortality and morbidity yet remains significantly undertreated. The reasons for this are complex but include a higher operative mortality for patients undergoing isolated tricuspid valve surgery. This study sought to determine the prevalence of patients with moderate-to-severe tricuspid regurgitation and identify those who could be potentially suitable for percutaneous tricuspid valve intervention by screening patients referred for transthoracic echocardiography (ECHO) at a tertiary center. Our results showed that the prevalence of moderate-to-severe tricuspid regurgitation in our total ECHO patient population was 2.8%. Of these, approximately one in eight patients with moderate-to-severe tricuspid regurgitation would be potentially suitable for percutaneous intervention and suggests a large, unmet clinical need in this population.

Open access

Tricuspid regurgitation and the right ventricle in risk stratification and timing of intervention

Bushra S Rana, Shaun Robinson, Rajeevan Francis, Mark Toshner, Martin J Swaans, Sharad Agarwal, Ravi de Silva, Amer A Rana, and Petros Nihoyannopoulos

Tricuspid regurgitation natural history and treatment remains poorly understood. Right ventricular function is a key factor in determining prognosis, timing for intervention and longer-term outcome. The right ventricle is a thin walled chamber with a predominance of longitudinal fibres and a shared ventricular septum. In health, the low-pressure pulmonary circulation results in a highly compliant RV well equipped to respond to changes in preload but sensitive to even small alterations in afterload. In Part 1 of this article, discussion focuses on key principles of ventricular function assessment and the importance of right ventricular chamber size, volumes and ejection fraction, particularly in risk stratification in tricuspid regurgitation. Part 2 of this article provides an understanding of the causes of tricuspid regurgitation in the contemporary era, with emphasis on key patient groups and their management.

Open access

Quadruple valve replacement in a patient with severe rheumatic heart disease

Isaac Adembesa, Adriaan Myburgh, and Justiaan Swanevelder


We present a patient with rheumatic heart disease involving all the heart valves. An intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography confirmed severe mitral stenosis, severe aortic regurgitation, severe tricuspid regurgitation and stenosis, and severe pulmonary stenosis. The patient underwent successful quadruple valve replacement during a single operation at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa.

Learning points:

  • Rheumatic heart disease can affect all the heart valves including the pulmonary valve.

  • Intraoperative transoesophageal echocardiography is key for diagnosis, monitoring and confirmation of successful surgical result during heart valve surgery.

  • Combined surgical procedure of all four valves is possible though associated with long procedural time.

Open access

Traumatic avulsion of the tricuspid valve after gas bottle explosion

Francesca Tedoldi, Maximilian Krisper, Clemens Köhncke, and Burkert Pieske


We present a very rare example of chronic right heart failure caused by torrent tricuspid regurgitation. Massive right heart dilatation and severe tricuspid regurgitation due to avulsion of the tricuspid valve apparatus occurred as a result of a blunt chest trauma following the explosion of a gas bottle 20 years before admission, when the patient was a young man in Vietnam. After this incident, the patient went through a phase of severe illness, which can retrospectively be identified as an acute right heart decompensation with malaise, ankle edema, and dyspnea. Blunt chest trauma caused by explosives leading to valvular dysfunction has not been reported in the literature so far. It is remarkable that the patient not only survived this trauma, but had been managing his chronic heart failure well without medication for over 20 years.

Learning points

  • Thorough clinical and physical examination remains the key to identifying patients with relevant valvulopathies.

  • With good acoustic windows, TTE is superior to TEE in visualizing the right heart.

  • Traumatic avulsion of valve apparatus is a rare but potentially life-threatening complication of blunt chest trauma and must be actively sought for. Transthoracic echocardiography remains the method of choice in these patients.

Open access

Echocardiographic assessment of the tricuspid and pulmonary valves: a practical guideline from the British Society of Echocardiography

Abbas Zaidi, David Oxborough, Daniel X Augustine, Radwa Bedair, Allan Harkness, Bushra Rana, Shaun Robinson, and Luigi P Badano

Transthoracic echocardiography is the first-line imaging modality in the assessment of right-sided valve disease. The principle objectives of the echocardiographic study are to determine the aetiology, mechanism and severity of valvular dysfunction, as well as consequences on right heart remodelling and estimations of pulmonary artery pressure. Echocardiographic data must be integrated with symptoms, to inform optimal timing and technique of interventions. The most common tricuspid valve abnormality is regurgitation secondary to annular dilatation in the context of atrial fibrillation or left-sided heart disease. Significant pulmonary valve disease is most commonly seen in congenital heart abnormalities. The aetiology and mechanism of tricuspid and pulmonary valve disease can usually be identified by 2D assessment of leaflet morphology and motion. Colour flow and spectral Doppler are required for assessment of severity, which must integrate data from multiple imaging planes and modalities. Transoesophageal echo is used when transthoracic data is incomplete, although the anterior position of the right heart means that transthoracic imaging is often superior. Three-dimensional echocardiography is a pivotal tool for accurate quantification of right ventricular volumes and regurgitant lesion severity, anatomical characterisation of valve morphology and remodelling pattern, and procedural guidance for catheter-based interventions. Exercise echocardiography may be used to elucidate symptom status and demonstrate functional reserve. Cardiac magnetic resonance and CT should be considered for complimentary data including right ventricular volume quantification, and precise cardiac and extracardiac anatomy. This British Society of Echocardiography guideline aims to give practical advice on the standardised acquisition and interpretation of echocardiographic data relating to the pulmonary and tricuspid valves.

Open access

An unusual cause of hypoxia: getting to the heart of the matter

Daniel Hammersley, Aamir Shamsi, Mohammad Murtaza Zaman, Philip Berry, and Lydia Sturridge

A 63-year-old female presented to hospital with progressive exertional dyspnoea over a 6-month period. In the year preceding her admission, she reported an intercurrent history of abdominal pain, diarrhoea and weight loss. She was found to be hypoxic, the cause for which was initially unclear. A ventilation–perfusion scan identified a right-to-left shunt. Transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) demonstrated a significant right-to-left intracardiac shunt through a patent foramen ovale (PFO); additionally severe tricuspid regurgitation was noted through a highly abnormal tricuspid valve. The findings were consistent with carcinoid heart disease with a haemodynamically significant shunt, resulting in profound systemic hypoxia. 24-h urinary 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) and imaging were consistent with a terminal ileal primary carcinoid cancer with hepatic metastasis. Liver biopsy confirmed a tissue diagnosis. The patient was commenced on medical therapy for carcinoid syndrome. She subsequently passed away while undergoing anaesthetic induction for valvular surgery to treat her carcinoid heart disease and PFO.

Learning points:

  • Carcinoid syndrome is a rare condition, which presents a significant diagnostic challenge due to its insidious presentation and symptoms. This frequently results in a marked delay in diagnosis.

  • Carcinoid heart disease is characterised by distortion and fixation of right-sided heart valves, which cause valvular regurgitation, stenosis or both. Valvular abnormalities are often found in association with right ventricular failure.

  • In the case described, carcinoid heart disease was found in association with a significant right-to-left intracardiac shunt, created through a PFO due to right atrial volume overload. This prevented right ventricular failure at the expense of creating a state of severe induced systemic hypoxia.

  • This physiological adaptation resulted in an unusual presentation of this condition, due to symptoms resulting from hypoxia, rather than the classical symptoms of carcinoid syndrome or right ventricular failure.

Open access

Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction: identifying presence by left atrial function

Emily Worley, Bushra Rana, Lynne Williams, and Shaun Robinson


The left atrium (LA) is exposed to left ventricular pressure during diastole. Applying the 2016 American Society of Echocardiography left ventricular diastolic function (LVDF) guidelines, this study aims to investigate whether left atrial ejection fraction (LAEF) and left atrial active emptying fraction (LAAEF) are markers of diastolic dysfunction (LVDD).


Retrospective cohort of consecutive patients (n = 124) who underwent transthoracic echocardiography were studied. Doppler peak velocities of passive (MV E) and active filling (MV A) were measured and ratio E/A calculated. Tissue Doppler imaging parameters of peak early (e′) of the septal and lateral mitral annulus were measured, and average E/e′ ratio (E/e′) was calculated. Tricuspid regurgitation velocity, left atrial maximum volume, left atrial minimum volume and LA volume pre-contraction were measured, allowing calculation of LAEF and LAAEF. Subjects were assigned LVDF categories.


Binomial logistic regression model (X2(2) = 48.924, P < 0.01) determined that LAEF and LAAEF predicted diastolic dysfunction with sensitivity 85.5% and specificity 78%. ROC curves determined good diagnostic accuracy for LAEF and LAAEF to predict LVDD, AUC 0.826 and 0.861 respectively. Logistic regression model (X2(2) = 39.525, P < 0.01) predicted those patients with E/e′ ≥14 using LAEF and LAAEF with sensitivity 51.6% and specificity 92.4%. Moderate correlations were found between E/e′ and log derivatives of LAEF and LAAEF.


A decline in LAAEF and LAEF is associated with worsening LVDD.

Open access

Pre-operative right ventricular echocardiographic parameters associated with short-term outcomes and long-term mortality after CABG

Mohammed Andaleeb Chowdhury, Jered M Cook, George V Moukarbel, Sana Ashtiani, Thomas A Schwann, Mark R Bonnell, Christopher J Cooper, and Samer J Khouri


This analysis aims to assess the prognostic value of pre-operative right ventricular echocardiographic parameters in predicting short-term adverse outcomes and long-term mortality after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG).


Study design: Observational retrospective cohort. Pre-operative echocardiographic data, perioperative adverse outcomes (POAO) and long-term mortality were retrospectively analyzed in 491 patients who underwent isolated CABG at a single academic center between 2006 and 2014.


Average age of enrolled subjects was 66 ± 11.5 years with majority being male (69%). 227/491 patients had 30 days POAO (46%); most common being post-operative atrial fibrillation (27.3%) followed by prolonged ventilation duration (12.7%). On multivariate analysis, left atrial volume index ≥42 mL/m2 (LAVI) (OR (95% CI): 1.98 (1.03–3.82), P = 0.04), mitral E/A >2 (1.97 (1.02–3.78), P = 0.04), right atrial size >18 cm2 (1.86 (1.14–3.05), P = 0.01), tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) <16 mm (1.8 (1.03–3.17), P = 0.04), right ventricular systolic pressure (RVSP) ≥36 mmHg (pulmonary hypertension) (1.6 (1.03–2.38), P = 0.04) and right ventricle myocardial performance index (RVMPI) >0.55 (1.58 (1.01–2.46), P = 0.04) were found to be associated with increased 30-day POAO. On 3.5-year follow-up, cumulative survival was decreased in patients with myocardial performance index (MPI) ≥0.55 (log rank: 4.5, P = 0.034) and in patients with mitral valve E/e′ ≥14 (log rank: 4.9, P = 0.026).


Pre-operative right ventricle dysfunction (RVD) is associated with increased perioperative complications. Furthermore, pre-operative RVD and increased left atrial pressures are associated with long-term mortality post CABG.

Open access

Echocardiography and monitoring patients receiving dopamine agonist therapy for hyperprolactinaemia: a joint position statement of the British Society of Echocardiography, the British Heart Valve Society and the Society for Endocrinology

Richard P Steeds, Craig E Stiles, Vishal Sharma, John B Chambers, Guy Lloyd, and William Drake

This is a joint position statement of the British Society of Echocardiography, the British Heart Valve Society and the Society for Endocrinology on the role of echocardiography in monitoring patients receiving dopamine agonist (DA) therapy for hyperprolactinaemia. (1) Evidence that DA pharmacotherapy causes abnormal valve morphology and dysfunction at doses used in the management of hyperprolactinaemia is extremely limited. Evidence of clinically significant valve pathology is absent, except for isolated case reports around which questions remain. (2) Attributing change in degree of valvular regurgitation, especially in mild and moderate tricuspid regurgitation, to adverse effects of DA in hyperprolactinaemia should be avoided if there are no associated pathological changes in leaflet thickness, restriction or retraction. It must be noted that even where morphological change in leaflet structure and function may be suspected, grading is semi-quantitative on echocardiography and may vary between different machines, ultrasound settings and operators. (3) Decisions regarding discontinuation of medication should only be made after review of serial imaging by an echocardiographer experienced in analysing drug-induced valvulopathy or carcinoid heart disease. (4) A standard transthoracic echocardiogram should be performed before a patient starts DA therapy for hyperprolactinaemia. Repeat transthoracic echocardiography should then be performed at 5 years after starting cabergoline in patients taking a total weekly dose less than or equal to 2 mg. If there has been no change on the 5-year scan, repeat echocardiography could continue at 5-yearly intervals. If a patient is taking more than a total weekly dose of 2 mg, then annual echocardiography is recommended.