Determination of left ventricular mass by three-dimensional echocardiography: in vitro validation of a novel quantification method using multiple equi-angular rotational planes for rapid measurements

Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2002 Jun;18(3):161-7. doi: 10.1023/a:1014665408355.


Measuring left ventricular mass by m-mode echocardiography or two-dimensional echocardiography is limited by the fact that calculations are based on assumptions, which describe left ventricular shape by simple geometric figures. The ability of three-dimensional echocardiography (3-DE) to accurately assess left ventricular mass has been shown previously, but 3-DE approaches to quantitative analysis of ventricular mass required multiple tomographic sectioning, manual tracing in various cut planes and were time consuming and laborious. We investigated the accuracy of a novel, rapid method of 3-DE mass quantification using multiple rotational planes in left ventricles in vitro.

Methods: Three-dimensional data sets of 10 fixed pig hearts were obtained using a TomTec 3-DE system. For 3-DE mass calculations, a rotational axis in the center of the ventricle (apical-basal orientation) was defined and 3, 6 and 12 equi-angular rotational planes were created. The endocardial and epicardial contour of the left ventricle was traced in each cut plane and the volume of the corresponding myocardial wedge was automatically calculated. Mass was calculated by multiplying the resulting myocardial volume by the specific weight of myocardial tissue. The measurements were performed by two investigators blinded to the anatomic true mass and were analyzed for interobserver and intraobserver variability.

Results: The anatomic left ventricular mass was measured 73-219 (168 +/- 50) g. 3-DE mass ranged from 88-247 (207 +/- 51) g (three planes), 84-250 (205 +/- 52) g (six planes) and 86-241 (202 +/- 50) g (12 planes) respectively. The correlation between 3-DE mass and anatomic LV mass measurements (r = 0.92) and between two observers (r = 0.97-0.98) was good. True mass was slightly overestimated by 3-DE measurement (SEE = 22-23 g). The intraobserver and interobserver variabilities were < or = 4 and < or = 7% respectively for all measurements.

Conclusion: This new 3-DE method of left ventricular mass quantification with rotational approach provides accurate and reproducible measurements. In normal shaped left ventricles even three planes were sufficient to provide accurate mass measurements in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Swine