Feasibility and Accuracy of Automated Software for Transthoracic Three-Dimensional Left Ventricular Volume and Function Analysis: Comparisons with Two-Dimensional Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional Transthoracic Manual Method, and Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Abstract

Background

Recently, a new automated software package (HeartModel) was developed to obtain three-dimensional (3D) left ventricular (LV) volumes using a model-based algorithm (MBA) with a “one-button” simple system and user-adjustable slider. The aims of this study were to verify the feasibility and accuracy of the MBA in comparison with other commonly used imaging techniques in a large unselected population, to evaluate possible accuracy improvements of free operator border adjustments or changes of the slider's default position, and to identify differences in method accuracy related to specific pathologies.

Methods

This prospective study included consecutive 200 patients. LV volumes and ejection fraction were obtained using the MBA and compared with the two-dimensional biplane method, the 3D full-volume (3DFV) modality, and, in 90 of 200 cases, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) measurements. To evaluate the optimal position of the slider with respect to the 3DFV and CMR modalities, a set of threefold cross-validation experiments was performed. Optimized and manually corrected LV volumes obtained using the MBA were also tested. Linear correlation and Bland-Altman analysis were used to assess intertechnique agreement.

Results

Automatic volumes were feasible in 194 patients (94.5%), with a mean processing time of 29 ± 10 sec. MBA-derived volumes correlated significantly with all evaluated methods, with slight overestimation of two-dimensional biplane and slight underestimation of CMR measurements. Higher correlations were found between MBA and 3DFV measurements, with negligible differences both in volumes (overestimation) and in LV ejection fraction (underestimation), respectively. Optimization of the user-adjustable slider position improved the correlation and markedly reduced the bias between the MBA and 3DFV or CMR. The accuracy of MBA volumes was lower in some pathologies for incorrect definition of LV endocardium.

Conclusions

The MBA is highly feasible, reproducible, and rapid, and it correlates highly with the traditional 3DFV method. It may represent a valid alternative to 3DFV measurement for everyday clinical use.

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