Review of novel clinical applications of advanced, real-time, 3-dimensional echocardiography

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Abstract

Advances in computer processing speed and memory along with the advent of the microbeam former that can sample an entire crystal of the ultrasound transducer made possible the performance of 3-dimensional echocardiography in real time (RT3DE). The miniaturization of a 3-dimensional transducer permitting its extension to transesophageal mode rapidly expanded its use in a variety of conditions. Recent development of user-friendly automated/semiautomated cropping and display software may make it rather simple, even for the novice to gather useful information from RT3DE. We discuss the background, technique, and cutting-edge research and novel clinical applications of advanced RT3DE, including left ventricular dyssynchrony assessment, 3-D speckle tracking, myocardial contrast echocardiography, complete 4-dimensional (4-D) shape and motion analysis of the left ventricle, 4-D volumetric analysis of the right ventricle, 3-D volume rendering of the mitral valve, and other percutaneous and surgical procedural applications.

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