JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Transthoracic three-dimensional echocardiography in the preoperative assessment of atrioventricular septal defect morphology.

A prospective study of 3-dimensional (3-D) transthoracic echocardiographic definition of atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) morphology and its dynamic changes during the cardiac cycle was performed. The information obtained from 2-D and 3-D transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) was compared with intraoperative findings in an unselected group of 15 patients with AVSD (median age 22 months). In all study patients, 3-D reconstructions provided anatomic views of the atrioventricular valve(s) en face from either atrial or ventricular perspectives that allowed comprehensive assessment of dynamic valve morphology and the mechanism of valve reflux. Left-sided valve function was correctly assessed by 2-D TTE in 11 of 15 patients (73%) and in 14 of 15 (93%) by 3-D TTE. In 6 of 15 patients (40%), the severity of right-sided valve reflux was described precisely by 2-D TTE and in 12 of 15 patients (80%) by 3-D TTE. Additionally, 3-D TTE supplemented the diagnostic information to that available from 2-D TTE on atrial and ventricular septal defects. Although primum atrial septal defects were depicted by 2-D and 3-D TTE in all 15 patients, the description of defect size was more precise by the 3-D TTE (80% vs. 100%, respectively). The presence of secundum atrial septal defect was correctly diagnosed by both TTE techniques in 10 of 15 patients. Disagreement regarding the size of the defect was present only in 2 of 10 patients by 2-D TTE. In another 2 patients, 3-D TTE described multiple defect fenestrations that were missed by 2-D TTE. Thus, the agreement score was 73% for 2-D and 100% for 3-D echo. The agreement for the presence and sizing of ventricular septal defects was 67% for 2-D and 93% for 3-D echo. We conclude that 3-D TTE provided accurate anatomic reconstructions of the common atrioventricular junction and that the use of dynamic 3-D TTE enhanced the anatomic diagnostic capability of standard 2-D TTE. Medica, Inc.

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