Real-Time Three-Dimensional Transesophageal Echocardiography in Valve Disease: Comparison With Surgical Findings and Evaluation of Prosthetic Valves

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Abstract

Background:

Recently, a novel real-time 3-dimensional (3D) matrix-array transesophageal echocardiographic (3D-MTEE) probe was found to be highly effective in the evaluation of native mitral valves (MVs) and other intracardiac structures, including the interatrial septum and left atrial appendage. However, the ability to visualize prosthetic valves using this transducer has not been evaluated. Moreover, the diagnostic accuracy of this new technology has never been validated against surgical findings. This study was designed to (1) assess the quality of 3D-MTEE images of prosthetic valves and (2) determine the potential value of 3D-MTEE imaging in the preoperative assessment of valvular pathology by comparing images with surgical findings.

Methods:

Eighty-seven patients undergoing clinically indicated transesophageal echocardiography were studied. In 40 patients, 3D-MTEE images of prosthetic MVs, aortic valves (AVs), and tricuspid valves (TVs) were scored for the quality of visualization. For both MVs and AVs, mechanical and bioprosthetic valves, the rings and leaflets were scored individually. In 47 additional patients, intraoperative 3D-MTEE diagnoses of MV pathology obtained before initiating cardiopulmonary bypass were compared with surgical findings.

Results:

For the visualization of prosthetic MVs and annuloplasty rings, quality was superior compared with AV and TV prostheses. In addition, 3D-MTEE imaging had 96% agreement with surgical findings.

Conclusions:

Three-dimensional matrix-array transesophageal echocardiographic imaging provides superb imaging and accurate presurgical evaluation of native MV pathology and prostheses. However, the current technology is less accurate for the clinical assessment of AVs and TVs. Fast acquisition and immediate online display will make this the modality of choice for MV surgical planning and postsurgical follow-up.

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