Transthoracic three-dimensional echocardiography in adult patients with congenital heart disease

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1995 Sep;26(3):759-67. doi: 10.1016/0735-1097(95)00245-Y.


Objectives: This study sought to assess both the feasibility and potential role of transthoracic three-dimensional echocardiography for the evaluation of adult patients with congenital heart disease.

Background: The unrestricted views with depth perception provided by three-dimensional echocardiography with dynamic volume-rendered display may enhance visualization of cardiac structures and detection of abnormalities in patients with congenital heart defects.

Methods: We studied 33 patients with various heart defects (mitral valve anomalies in 9, aortic valve anomalies in 5, subaortic membrane in 5, ventricular septal defect in 4, transposition of the great arteries in 3, tetralogy of Fallot in 2, other defects in 5). Cross-sectional images of the specific region of interest were acquired from either the parasternal or apical window with the rotational technique (2 degrees interval with electrocardiographic and respiratory gating) and postprocessed for resampling in cubic format. From these three-dimensional data sets a multitude of cut planes were selected, presented in volume-rendered dynamic display and analyzed by two observers for comparison with standard two-dimensional images to assess their additional information.

Results: Three-dimensional reconstruction was possible in all patients. Structures of interest were evaluated from unusual viewpoints, providing both cardiologists and surgeons with immediate feedback. When compared with standard two-dimensional images, additional information was provided for 12 patients (36%). The mitral valve, aortoseptal continuity and interatrial septum were the structures for which three-dimensional echocardiography was most useful.

Conclusions: Transthoracic three-dimensional echocardiography is feasible and facilitates spatial recognition of the intracardiac anatomy in a significant proportion of patients and enhances diagnostic confidence of complex congenital heart disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Echocardiography / instrumentation
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Thorax