The Additional Value of Three-Dimensional Transesophageal Echocardiography in Complex Aortic Prosthetic Heart Valve Endocarditis

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Background:Two-dimensional transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography (2DTTE and 2DTEE) may fail to detect signs of prosthetic heart valve (PHV) endocarditis due to acoustic shadowing. Three-dimensional (3D) TEE may have additional value; however, data are scarce. This study was performed to investigate the additional value of 3DTEE for the detection of aortic PHV endocarditis and the extent of the disease process.Methods:Retrospective analysis of complex aortic PHV endocarditis cases that underwent 2DTTE, 2DTEE, and 3DTEE before surgery. Echocardiograms were individually assessed by 2 cardiologists blinded for the outcome. Surgical and pathological inspection served as the reference standard for vegetations and peri-annular extensions (abscesses/mycotic aneurysms). To determine if the proximal coronary arteries were involved in the inflammatory process as well, computed tomography angiography findings were added to reference standard.Results:Fifteen aortic PHV endocarditis cases were identified. According to the reference standard, all 15 cases had peri-annular extensions, 13 of which had a close relationship with the proximal right and/or left coronary artery. In 6 of 15 patients, a vegetation was present. Combined 2DTTE/TEE missed 1/6 vegetations and 1/15 peri-annular extensions. After addition of 3DTEE, all vegetations (6/6) and peri-annular extensions (15/15) were detected, without adding false positives. Compared to 2DTEE, in 3/15 cases, 3DTEE resulted in better delineation of the anatomical relationship of the proximal coronary arteries to the peri-annular extensions. As a result, 3DTEE had an additional value in 5/15 cases.Conclusion:In complex aortic, PHV endocarditis 3DTEE may have additional value compared to 2D echocardiography.

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