Echocardiographic assessment of the aortic valve and left ventricular outflow tract
The previous reviews in this section of our Supplement1,2 have summarized the anatomic components of the ventriculo-arterial junctions, and then assessed the echocardiographic approach to the ventriculo-arterial junction or junctions as seen in the morphologically right ventricle. In this complementary review, we discuss the echocardiographic assessment of the comparable components found in the morphologically left ventricle, specifically the outflow tract and the arterial root. We will address the echocardiographic anatomy of the aortic valvar complex, and we will review the causes of congenital arterial valvar stenosis, using the aortic valve as our example. We will also review the various lesions that, in the outflow of the morphologically left ventricle, can produce subvalvar and supravalvar stenosis. We will then consider the salient features of the left ventricular outflow tract in patients with discordant ventriculo-arterial connections, and double outlet ventricles. To conclude the review, we will briefly address some rarer anomalies that involve the left ventricular outflow tract, showing how the transesophageal echocardiogram is used to assist the surgeon preparing for repair. The essence of the approach will be to consider the malformations as seen at valvar, subvalvar, or supravalvar levels,1 but we should not lose sight of the fact that aortic coarctation or interruption, hypoplasia of the left heart, and malformations of the mitral valve are all part of the spectrum of lesions associated with obstruction to the left ventricular outflow tract. These additional malformations, however, are beyond the scope of this review.
c1 Correspondence to: Alfred Asante-Korang MD, The Congenital Heart Institute of Florida (CHIF), Department of Pediatric Cardiology, In Affiliation with The University of South Florida, 100 First Street South, #550, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, USA. Tel: +1 727 892 4200; Fax: +1 727 502 8043; E-mail: email@example.com