This lesson focuses on the hemodynamic measurements made in the cardiac catheterization laboratory in the evaluation of mitral stenosis. Measurement of simultaneous left atrial and left ventricular pressures during diastole is the most accurate method to hemodynamically assess the mitral valve gradient. However, because access to the left atrium in the cath lab requires a transseptal puncture (from right atrium to left atrium), the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure is often used as a surrogate for left atrial pressure. The potential errors, pitfalls, and learning pearls in properly evaluating mitral stenosis are described.

Course Details

In this course, you will learn:
  • To describe the common measurements made in the cardiac catheterization laboratory in the evaluation of mitral stenosis
  • To correctly interpret common left ventricular and left atrial pressure tracings in the evaluation of mitral stenosis
  • To list the common situations where the pulmonary capillary wedge pressure is an inadequate surrogate for left atrial pressure
  • To identify the common causes of “pseudo” mitral stenosis

Method and medium:

Learners participate in the interactive learning modules by correctly answering multiple choice questions dispersed throughout. Learners will be prompted to try again, if a question is answered incorrectly.

The course will open in a new tab – to exit the course, simply close that tab.


Estimated time to Complete: 30 minutes
Credit/contact hours: .5
Expiration date: Apr 21, 2022
Publication date: Apr 21, 2020

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Course Author

Michael Ragosta III, MD

Professor of Medicine/Cardiology

Dr. Michael Ragosta is an attending cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System with a sub-specialty in interventional cardiology. 
Learn More about Michael Ragosta III, MD.

DISCLOSURE: This individual reports no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.