Digital recording, display, and storage of echocardiograms

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. Sep-Oct 1988;1(5):378-83. doi: 10.1016/s0894-7317(88)80014-2.


Digital acquisition, display, and storage are new options available for handling echocardiographic images. These types of image management offer many practical advantages and are excellent supplements to standard videotape recordings. For routine M-mode and Doppler studies this digital approach, when combined with videotape, can virtually eliminate the necessity for strip chart recordings. Probably the principal advantage of digital storage techniques is for two-dimensional echocardiography. The continuous loop display is extremely convenient for rapid review, quantitation, and serial studies. When considering the implementation of these techniques, there are many limitations and practical considerations that must be kept in mind. Recording two-dimensional echocardiograms in a continuous loop mode requires that the same number of frames or cells must be used if one wants to display more than one image simultaneously. When creating a continuous loop of a single cardiac cycle, the number of cells and the interval between cells are greatly influenced by the heart rate. One must be able to display simultaneous images with varying heart rates. Last, the number of cells, the resolution, and the gray scale determine the amount of digital information that has to be stored, retrieved, or transmitted. The cost and size of the medium and the speed with which the images can be retrieved or transmitted become factors in how one elects to digitally acquire this information. One approach that has been used, which seems to work quite well in most cases, is to use an eight-cell sequence for two-dimensional echocardiograms. When primarily interested in looking at ventricular function, especially regional wall motion, a 50 msec interval between frames is most appropriate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Data Display*
  • Echocardiography* / methods
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Information Systems*
  • Medical Laboratory Science
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Videotape Recording