Trends in pediatric imaging: ultrasound

Acta Radiol. 2013 Nov;54(9):1096-105. doi: 10.1177/0284185113501808. Epub 2013 Aug 27.


For the last three decades, two-dimensional (2D) echocardiography and Doppler echocardiography have been the primary imaging modalities for the diagnosis and management of heart disease in infants, children, and adolescents. These methods are non-invasive, highly sensitive, and cost-effective, and widely available, making them very useful in clinical work. During this period, the anatomic and hemodynamic abnormalities associated with different congenital and acquired pediatric heart diseases have been well outlined by echocardiography. Recent advances in computer technology, signal processing, and transducer design have allowed the capabilities of pediatric echocardiography to be expanded beyond qualitative 2D imaging and blood flow Doppler analysis. New modalities such as three-dimensional echocardiography, tissue Doppler imaging and speckle tracking echocardiography have been used to evaluate parameters such as ventricular volume, myocardial velocity, regional strain, and strain rate, providing new insight into cardiovascular morphology and ventricular systolic and diastolic function. Accordingly, a comprehensive and sophisticated quantification of ventricular function is now part of most echocardiography protocols. Use of measurements adjusted for body size and age is common practice today. These developments have further strengthened the position of echocardiography in pediatric cardiology.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease; echocardiography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Pediatrics / methods*