A Doppler examination is a valuable adjunct to a complete echocardiographic examination. It has the capability of measuring normal and abnormal velocities of blood flow noninvasively. For the first time, this procedure allows noninvasive quantitation of stenotic gradients, intracardiac pressures, and blood flow as well as semiquantitative assessment of regurgitant lesions. With this procedure, the operator must progress through a learning curve in order to gain a complete understanding of the examination techniques, the limitations of the instruments, and the Doppler physics principles before applications can be made to clinical practice. Evaluation of other aspects of Doppler echocardiography, such as color-flow mapping and assessment of diastolic events, portends great promise for the role of this procedure in the future.
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