Aims: To assess the accuracy of different hardware and software settings for left ventricular (LV) volume quantification in children using real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE).
Methods and results: The impact of different matrix transducers (IE 33, X3-1 and VIVID 7, V3) and quantification software settings [TOMTEC; contour-finding activity (tCFA) values ranging from 30 to 70 U] on the accuracy of LV indices was tested in 24 healthy children/adolescents (median = 12.6 years) and 25 paediatric patients with Tetralogy-of-Fallot (TOF) (median = 7.3 years) with abnormally shaped ventricles. RT3DE was compared with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) volumetry as reference. Best agreement (Bland-Altman analysis) was achieved using a tCFA value of 30 U. Applying the V3 device, end-diastolic volume (EDV) and end-systolic volume (ESV) were underestimated by 14.8 +/- 10.6% (mean +/- SD) and 11.2 +/- 16.3%, respectively (r = 9.42, P < 0.001 and r = 0.937, P = 0.003); with the X3-1 system 24.2 +/- 11.0 and 14.6 +/- 15.2%, respectively (r = 0.951, P < 0.001 and r = 0.912, P = 0.001). Negligible differences <1% (P = n.s.) between both transducers were detected applying a tCFA value of 70 U but with significant underestimation (EDV: approximately 35%, P < 0.001; ESV: approximately 26%, P < 0.001) compared with CMR. EDV and ESV of TOF patients were underestimated by 3.2 +/- 15.4 and 8.1 +/- 22.6%, respectively. Intra- and interobserver variability was <4%.
Conclusion: In contrast to recommendations of the manufacturer, data sets from both RT3DE transducers showed acceptable agreement to CMR for volumetric parameters only for low tCFA. Fine-tuning of software settings is mandatory to improve accuracy.