Intracardiac echocardiography (9 MHz) in humans: methods, imaging views and clinical utility

Ultrasound Med Biol. 1999 Sep;25(7):1077-86. doi: 10.1016/s0301-5629(99)00064-2.


A new low-frequency (9 MHz, 9 Fr) catheter-based ultrasound (US) transducer has been designed that allows greater depth of cardiac imaging. To demonstrate the imaging capability and clinical utility, intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) using this lower frequency catheter was performed in 56 patients undergoing invasive electrophysiological procedures. Cardiac imaging and monitoring were performed with the catheter transducer placed in the superior vena cava (SVC), right atrium (RA) and/or right ventricle (RV). In all patients, ICE identified distinct endocardial structures with excellent resolution and detail, including the crista terminalis, RA appendage, caval and coronary sinus orifices, fossa ovalis, pulmonary vein orifices, ascending aorta and its root, pulmonary artery, RV and all cardiac valves. The left atrium and ventricle were imaged with the transducer at the limbus fossa ovalis of the interatrial septum and in the RV, respectively. ICE was important in identifying known or unanticipated aberrant anatomy in 11 patients (variant Eustachian valve, atrial septal aneurysm and defect, lipomatous hypertrophy, Ebstein's anomaly, ventricular septal defect, tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, disrupted chordae tendinae and pericardial effusion) or in detecting procedure-related abnormalities (narrowing of SVC-RA junction orifice or pulmonary venous lumen, atrial thrombus, interatrial communication). In patients with inappropriate sinus tachycardia, ICE was the primary ablation catheter-guidance technique for sinus node modification. With ICE monitoring, the evolution of lesion morphology with the three imaging features including swelling, dimpling and crater formation was observed. In all patients, ICE was contributory to the mapping and ablation process by guiding catheters to anatomically distinct sites and/or assessing stability of the electrode-endocardial contact. ICE was also used to successfully guide atrial septal puncture (n = 9) or RA basket catheter placement (n = 4). Thus, ICE with a new 9-MHz catheter-based transducer has better imaging capability with a greater depth. Normal and abnormal cardiac anatomy can be readily identified. ICE proved useful during electrophysiological mapping and ablation procedures for guiding interatrial septal puncture, assessing placement and contact of mapping and ablation catheters, monitoring ablation lesion morphological changes, and instantly diagnosing cardiac complications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Catheter Ablation / instrumentation
  • Echocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Endosonography / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / surgery
  • Transducers