Real Time Three-Dimensional Echocardiography in Assessing Ventricular Septal Defects: An Echocardiographic-Surgical Correlative Study

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BackgroundTwo-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) enhanced by combining with color Doppler technology has significant limitations in providing precise quantitative information, geometric assumptions to calculate chamber volume, mass, and ejection fraction. Reconstructed three-dimensional echocardiographic (3DE) systems (from multiple cross-sectional echocardiographic scans) are still cumbersome and time-consuming. Real time 3DE (RT-3DE) with shorter imaging time than with 3D reconstruction techniques can obtain qualitative and quantitative information on heart disorders. Our purpose was to investigate the feasibility and potential value of RT-3DE as a means of accurately and quantitatively estimating the size of VSD to correlate with the surgical findings.Materials and methods38 patients with VSD were examined with RT-3DE. 3D image database was postprocessed using TomTec echo 3D workstation. The results were compared with the results measured by 2 DE and surgical findings. RT-3DE produced novel views of VSD and improved quantification of the size of the defect. The sizes obtained from 3DE have equivalent correlation with surgical findings as diameter measured by 2DE (r = 0.89 vs r = 0.90). Good agreement between blinded observers was achieved by little interobserver variability.ConclusionRT-3DE offers intraoperative visualization of VSD to generate a “virtual sense of depth” without extending examining time. From an LV en face projection, the positions, sizes, and shapes of VSDs can be accurately determined to permit quantitative recording of VSD dynamics. It is a potentially valuable clinical tool to provide precise imaging for surgical and catheter-based closure of difficult perimembranous and singular or multiple muscular VSD

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