Echocardiographic evaluation of the single right ventricle in congenital heart disease: results of new techniques

Circ J. 2012;76(1):22-31. doi: 10.1253/circj.cj-11-1267. Epub 2011 Dec 3.


Right ventricular (RV) function is increasingly recognized as having prognostic significance in various disease processes. The current gold standard for noninvasive measurement of RV function is cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; however, because of practical considerations, echocardiography remains the most often used modality for evaluating the RV. In the past, because of its complex morphology, echocardiographic assessment of the RV was usually qualitative in nature. Current advances in echocardiographic techniques have been able to overcome some of the previous limitations and thus quantification of RV function is increasingly being performed. In addition, recent echocardiographic guidelines for evaluating the RV have been published to aid in standardizing practice. The evaluation of RV function almost certainly has no greater importance than in the congenital heart population, especially in those patients that have a single RV acting as the systemic ventricle. As this complex population continues to increase in number, accurate and precise evaluation of RV function will be a major issue in determining clinical care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans