Mitral regurgitation (MR) is frequently reported in everyday echocardiograms; accurate assessment is essential for appropriate management and decision making.
We performed a self-audit in order to define the prevalence and pattern of MR and to evaluate methods of assessment with the perspective of developing a quality improvement project.
This retrospective analytical study was conducted in a university hospital. Inclusion criteria: age more than 18 years and medical records available within the facility, including a “complete” medical history. Using the picture archiving and communication system, we reviewed 961 echocardiograms performed over a 6-month period. The methods of assessment of native mitral valve regurgitation were reported, and also relevant medical data were collected using an electronic archiving system.
Among the 961 patients reviewed, 322 (33.50%) had MR, with variable grades. MR pattern (organic versus functional) was not specified in 49.68% of cases. “Eyeball” assessment and “color jet area” were the most frequently used methods for MR assessment (90.06% and 27.95%, respectively), while “vena contracta” and “flow convergence” methods were rarely implemented (1.55% and 2.17%, respectively). Discussion is made according to current guidelines, while showing the strengths and weaknesses of each method.
The prevalence of MR was 33.50%, and in nearly half of cases, the MR pattern was not specified. Qualitative and semi-quantitative methods of assessment were mostly used; quantitative assessment should be implemented more frequently, in accordance with current guidelines. Increasing clinical awareness by creating and implementing a quality improvement project is essential in this context.