Morphologic Features of Carcinoid Heart Disease as Assessed by Three-Dimensional Transesophageal Echocardiography

Echocardiography. 2010 Oct;27(9):1098-105. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8175.2010.01207.x.


Background: Carcinoid heart disease (CHD) is a rare cause of valvular heart disease and carries a poor prognosis. CHD has a unique morphology and echocardiographic features that predominantly involve right-sided valvular structures. The diagnosis of CHD is usually made by two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). With the superior spatial resolution of real time three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (3DTEE), structural changes that occur in patients with CHD-associated valvular heart disease can be examined in greater detail. We undertook this study to examine the incremental value of 3DTEE in the diagnosis of CHD.

Methods: A total of four patients with CHD underwent TTE, transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), and 3DTEE as part of their routine clinical evaluation.

Results: TTE and TEE for all four patients revealed thickened, fibrosed, retracted, and malcoapted tricuspid leaflets with wide-open tricuspid valve regurgitation. 3DTEE en face imaging of the tricuspid valve demonstrated the characteristic morphologic features of CHD more clearly in all four patients.

Conclusions: 3DTEE provides substantial incremental value over TTE in the assessment of characteristic CHD pathology and thus enhances the echocardiographic diagnosis of CHD.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoid Heart Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Transesophageal / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged