Assessment of right ventricular function by real-time three-dimensional echocardiography improves accuracy and decreases interobserver variability compared with conventional two-dimensional views


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Abstract

AimsTwo-dimensional echocardiographic (2DE) assessment of right ventricular (RV) function is difficult, often resulting in inconsistent RV evaluation. Real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) allows the RV to be viewed in multiple planes, which can potentially improve RV assessment and limit interobserver variability when compared with 2DE.Methods and resultsTwenty-five patients underwent 2DE and RT3DE. Views of 2DE (RV inflow, RV short axis, and apical four-chamber) were compared with RT3DE views by four readers. RT3DE data sets were sliced from anterior–posterior (apical view) and from base to apex (short axis) to obtain six standardized planes. Readers recorded the RV ejection fraction (RVEF) from 2DE and RT3DE images. RVEF recorded by RT3DE (RVEF3D) and 2D (RVEF2D) were compared with RVEF by disc summation (RVEFDS), which was used as a reference. Interobserver variability among readers of RVEF3D and RVEF2D was then compared. Overall, mean RVEFDS, RVEF3D, and RVEF2D were 37 ± 11%, 38 ± 10%, 41 ± 10%, respectively. The mean difference of RVEF3D − RVEFDS was significantly less than RVEF2D–RVEFDS (3.7 ± 4% vs. 7.1 ± 5%, P = 0.0066, F-test). RVEF3D correlated better with RVEFDS (r = 0.875 vs. r = 0.69, P = 0.028, t-test). RVEF3D was associated with a 39% decrease in interobserver variability when compared with RVEF2D [standard deviation of mean difference: 3.7 vs. 5.1, (RT3DE vs. 2DE), P = 0.018, t-test].ConclusionsRT3DE provides improved accuracy of RV function assessment and decreases interobserver variability when compared with 2D views.

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