Aims: To determine whether left ventricular volumes and ejection fractions calculated from single plane two-dimensional echocardiograms using the algorithm (0.85A2L) correlate with those calculated using the biplane Simpson's method, and whether small changes in volumes and ejection fraction occurring post-infarction could be detected from single-plane as well as from biplane two-dimensional echocardiograms.
Methods and results: Serial two-dimensional echocardiograms were obtained in 371 patients from the DEFIANT II trial a mean of 2 days, 1 week and 6 months post-infarction. Single plane volumes from the apical four chamber and apical long axis correlated closely with biplane Simpson's left ventricular volumes. Both single-plane left ventricular volumes significantly over-estimated biplane Simpson's volumes. Biplane Simpson's ejection fractions were consistently slightly under-estimated from the single-plane images. Differences between biplane Simpson's and single-plane volumes increased independently with increasing left ventricular size and distortion. The small changes in left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction over time were as reliably detected from single plane as from biplane images.
Conclusion: Single-plane left ventricular volumes over-estimate biplane Simpson's volumes and under-estimate ejection fraction, and these discrepancies are amplified in dilated hearts with abnormal shape.