Assessments of right ventricular volume and function using three-dimensional echocardiography in older children and adults with congenital heart disease: comparison with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2009 Nov;22(11):1279-88. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2009.08.011. Epub 2009 Oct 7.


Background: The utility of three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) for right ventricular (RV) assessment is uncertain in older children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD), in whom the right ventricle is often dilated and dysfunction is common.

Methods: RV assessments using 3DE were compared with manual tracing and automated border detection (ABD) with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the reference method. Twenty-eight of 54 consecutive patients (52%; median age, 17 years) with CHD had adequate three-dimensional echocardiographic data sets for analysis.

Results: There were wide ranges of RV size (mean RV end-diastolic volume index, 143 +/- 43 mL/m(2)) and function (mean RV ejection fraction [EF], 48 +/- 10%) on MRI. End-diastolic volume was underestimated on 3DE by 20% (P < .001) and to a greater degree in larger ventricles (P < .001). There was no significant difference in EF measurements between 3DE methods and MRI except for ABD (-2.6 +/- 6, P = .03). The mean analysis time for ABD was 5 minutes, compared with 19 minutes for manual tracing (P < .0001).

Conclusion: Approximately half the patients with CHD had adequate three-dimensional echocardiographic images. Three-dimensional echocardiography accurately estimated EF but underestimated volume, particularly when the right ventricle was dilated. ABD minimally underestimated EF but offered a significant reduction in analysis time.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / diagnosis*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / etiology