Cross-sectional echocardiographic diagnosis and subclassification of univentricular hearts: imaging studies of atrioventricular valves, septal structures and rudimentary outflow chambers

Circulation. 1982 Nov;66(5):1070-7. doi: 10.1161/01.cir.66.5.1070.


We reviewed anatomic observations (surgical or autopsy), angiograms and echocardiograms from 44 patients with documented univentricular hearts. Thirty-three patients had univentricular heart of left ventricular type with an outflow or rudimentary chamber. Five had univentricular heart of right ventricular type, and six had univentricular heart of indeterminate types without a rudimentary chamber. Univentricular heart was correctly diagnosed by two-dimensional echocardiography in all but two of the 44 patients, including 25 of 27 double-inlet univentricular hearts, all five with absent left and all 12 with absent right atrioventricular connection. One of the two blind trabecular pouches was missed on echocardiography; the other was not seen on the angiogram but was present at autopsy. In 30 of 33 patients, univentricular heart of left ventricular type was correctly identified by imaging an anterosuperior and leftward or rightward outlet chamber, and in four of five patients with univentricular heart of right ventricular type, the anomaly was correctly identified by imaging the inferior and posterior position of the rudimentary outflow chamber near the crux of the heart. Two-dimensional echocardiography provides detailed analysis of atrioventricular connections, main chamber morphology, and rudimentary chamber size and position of noninvasive diagnosis and anatomic subclassification of univentricular hearts.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Echocardiography*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / classification
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Heart Septal Defects
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn