Automated retrieval of standard diagnostic fetal cardiac ultrasound planes in the second trimester of pregnancy: a prospective evaluation of software

Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2008 Jan;31(1):30-6. doi: 10.1002/uog.5228.


Objective: To evaluate prospectively the performance of software that automatically retrieves, from a three-dimensional (3D) volume of the fetal chest, three diagnostic cardiac planes in the second trimester of pregnancy.

Methods: 3D static volumes of the fetal chest were acquired at the level of the four-chamber view in 72 fetuses between 18 and 23 weeks of gestation. Standardization of 3D volumes was performed in Plane A (the reference plane: four-chamber view) alone. Tomographic ultrasound imaging (TUI) was added to the display of each diagnostic plane. The left ventricular outflow plane (Cardiac plane 1: five-chamber view, aorta), the right ventricular outflow plane (Cardiac plane 2: pulmonary artery) and the abdominal circumference plane (Cardiac plane 3: abdominal circumference, stomach) were retrieved by the software from the 3D volumes and the data were analyzed to determine whether Cardiac planes 1-3 were displayed correctly in each volume.

Results: The automated software displayed, in at least one TUI plane, target Cardiac plane 1 in 94.4% of volumes, target Cardiac plane 2 in 91.7% of volumes and target Cardiac plane 3 in 97.2% of volumes.

Conclusion: Our results validate the concept of automated sonography and its potential clinical applicability.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Information Storage and Retrieval
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prospective Studies
  • Software / standards*
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods