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Diagnostic and prognostic significance of cardiovascular vortex formation.


Various forms of vortex formation in the cardiovascular system convey valuable information regarding the function of heart and great vessels. The vortex ring that forms during systole in the aortic sinus is the first that was recognized and the asymmetric transmitral vortex ring that forms in the left ventricle during diastole has been most commonly used for diagnosis and follow up of heart failure patients. Adverse vortex interaction in the heart can also occur due to valvular regurgitation and may have energetic consequences to the heart. Furthermore, vortices do exist in other chambers such as the right ventricle and may even arise in the great arteries and veins due to congenital heart disease. Here, we summarize diagnostic and prognostic significance of vortices and vortex imaging in the heart, their applications in clinical medicine, and discuss how these flow features can be used to assess functional status of the heart.

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