• echocardiography;
  • prostheses

Background: A new echocardiographic severity index of aortic valve stenosis has been recently introduced: the ejection fraction-velocity ratio (EFVR), which is a simple ratio ejection fraction/4Vmax2. This nonflow corrected index demonstrated an excellent accuracy in quantifying the effective orifice area (EOA) in native aortic valves. There is no information about the reliability of EFVR in assessing aortic EOA in patients with bioprostheses. Methods: In 141 consecutive patients with aortic bioprostheses (85 males, mean age 74 ± 9 years), EOA was calculated by both continuity equation (CE) and EFVR. Results: The correlation between CE and EFVR was highly significant (r = 0.88; P < 0.0001). The area under the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was 0.97 (considering a positive case CE < 1.0 cm2, best cutoff of EFVR was <1.06). Using CE as gold standard and a cutoff of 1.0 for both indexes, EFVR showed good sensitivity (80%) and specificity (98%). Also in a subgroup of 46 patients with moderate or severe mitral regurgitation, the EFVR had a good diagnostic accuracy (sensitivity 89%, specificity 97%). In 91 patients with ejection fraction ≤ 50%, the EFVR confirmed good sensitivity (79%) and specificity (97%). Conclusions: The EFVR, a simple and not time-consuming index, demonstrated a good diagnostic accuracy in assessing EOA also in patients with aortic bioprostheses. The presence of moderate to severe mitral regurgitation or left ventricular dysfunction does not reduce significantly the reliability of this new index. The EFVR can be taken into consideration in the clinical practice, at least when CE measurements are technically difficult.