Reproducibility and accuracy of echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular parameters using real-time three-dimensional echocardiography

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Aug 18;44(4):878-86. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2004.05.050.


Objectives: We sought to determine whether assessment of left ventricular (LV) function with real-time (RT) three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) could reduce the variation of sequential LV measurements and provide greater accuracy than two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE).

Background: Real-time 3DE has become feasible as a standard clinical tool, but its accuracy for LV assessment has not been validated.

Methods: Unselected patients (n = 50; 41 men; age, 64 +/- 8 years) presenting for evaluation of LV function were studied with 2DE and RT-3DE. Test-retest variation was performed by a complete restudy by a separate sonographer within 1 h without alteration of hemodynamics or therapy. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images were obtained during a breath-hold, and measurements were made off-line.

Results: The test-retest variation showed similar measurements for volumes but wider scatter of LV mass measurements with M-mode and 2DE than 3DE. The average MRI end-diastolic volume was 172 +/- 53 ml; LV volumes were underestimated by 2DE (mean difference, -54 +/- 33; p < 0.01) but only slightly by RT-3DE (-4 +/- 29; p = 0.31). Similarly, end-systolic volume by MRI (91 +/- 53 ml) was underestimated by 2DE (mean difference, -28 +/- 28; p < 0.01) and by RT-3DE (mean difference, -3 +/- 18; p = 0.23). Ejection fraction by MRI was similar by 2DE (p = 0.76) and RT-3DE (p = 0.74). Left ventricular mass (183 +/- 50 g) was overestimated by M-mode (mean difference, 68 +/- 86 g; p < 0.01) and 2DE (16 +/- 57; p = 0.04) but not RT-3DE (0 +/- 38 g; p = 0.94). There was good inter- and intra-observer correlation between RT-3DE by two sonographers for volumes, ejection fraction, and mass.

Conclusions: Real-time 3DE is a feasible approach to reduce test-retest variation of LV volume, ejection fraction, and mass measurements in follow-up LV assessment in daily practice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observer Variation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology