Objectives: This study assessed the agreement of left ventricular ejection fraction determinations from two-dimensional echocardiography, radionuclide angiography and contrast cineangiography.
Background: Previously published reports suggest that two-dimensional echocardiography, radionuclide angiography and contrast cineangiography are equally acceptable methods of assessing left ventricular ejection fraction on the basis of high coefficients of correlation. However, correlation of methods does not necessarily imply agreement.
Methods: In a prospective analysis, 25 consecutive subjects all had two-dimensional echocardiography and radionuclide angiography performed within 10 days of each other in the cardiology department of metropolitan community hospital. A retrospective computer search (Medline) revealed seven studies, using the coefficient of correlation (r), comparing two-dimensional echocardiographic left ventricular ejection fraction (n = 268) with radionuclide angiographic (n = 174) or contrast cineangiographic (n = 119) left ventricular ejection fractions.
Results: The eight individual studies (n = 293) comparing two-dimensional echocardiography with either radionuclide angiography or contrast cineangiography exhibited coefficients of correlation ranging from 0.78 to 0.93. Agreement analysis using the method of Bland and Altman was performed by averaging the results obtained from the two techniques and determining how disparate any single ejection fraction was (with 95% confidence limits) from the mean value. Agreement ranged from 23% to 42% around the mean ejection fraction. The average lack of agreement between the two methods for all studies involved was 17%, with an average r value of 0.86.
Conclusions: Left ventricular ejection fraction determinations by means of two-dimensional echocardiography, radionuclide angiography and contrast cineangiography exhibit high correlation and only moderate agreement. High correlation does not always imply high agreement. These results suggest that, when validated by agreement analysis, multiple studies may not be necessary in appropriate clinical situations, potentially reducing costs.