Abnormal Jugular Venous Pulse Contours As Related To Abnormal Jugular Venous Flow Velocity Patterns

Studies from our laboratory using Doppler jugular venous flow (JVF) velocity recordings and their correlation to right heart hemodynamics had established that when the forward flow velocity patterns in the jugulars lose their normal systolic dominance, they can be termed abnormal (40,47). The flow velocity patterns of Sf = Df, Sf < Df, and Df alone are abnormal forward flow velocity patterns. These correspond to the right atrial and the jugular venous pulse contours of x' = y descent, x' < y descent, and single y descent. Decrease in peak Sf would imply decreased RV contractility (decreased x'). Increase in Df velocity would imply increased v wave pressure head without restriction to forward flow in early diastole. This greater pressure gradient would cause faster emptying of the RA. This would be reflected in the jugulars as a greater diastolic forward flow velocity (increased y descent).

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