Limitation of transthoracic echocardiography in the diagnosis of congenital heart diseases

J Soongswang, A Nana, D Laohaprasitiporn, K Durongpisitkul, C Kangkagate, W Rochanasiri, T Kovitcharoentrakul
Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand 2000, 83 Suppl 2: S111-17
Nowadays, it has been widely accepted that echocardiography is the most efficient, non invasive diagnostic tool to diagnose congenital heart diseases. However, cardiac catheterization remains the gold standard to diagnose and obtain hemodynamic data prior to cardiovascular surgery. In order to find out the accuracy of transthoracic echocardiography in relation to the anatomical diagnosis of congenital heart diseases, 175 consecutive patients who underwent diagnostic cardiac catheterization during January 1999 to December 1999 were reviewed. All of them had complete echocardiographic studies prior to the procedure. The male to female ratio was 1.06:1. The median age at the time of echocardiography was 3.36 (0.01-28.8) years old. The indications of the cardiac catheterization were to demonstrate cardiovascular anatomy 64 per cent, to obtain pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance 13.7 per cent, and to get both information 22.3 per cent. Tetralogy of Fallot (23.4%) was the most frequent cardiac malformation, followed by complex congenital heart diseases (22.3%), simple left to right shunt (12%), pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (8.6%), tricuspid atresia (5.7%), simple d-transposition of great arteries (4%), etc. From cardiac catheterization; 49 cases (28%) revealed additional data which were surgically important, 3 cases (1.7%) resulted in different diagnoses, and 3 cases (1.7%) revealed additional information which was not surgically important. Inadequate imaging technique (36 cases, 65.5%) and limitation of technique (19 cases, 34.5%) were the reasons for missing anatomical findings of transthoracic echocardiography. Age at the time of echocardiography was not a significant factor affecting the accuracy. Persistent left superior vena cava, multiple aorto-pulmonary collateral arteries, pulmonary artery anatomy, and coronary artery anatomy were the most frequent cardiac lesions misdiagnosed by transthoracic echocardiography that were somewhat surgically important. The incorrect echocardiographic diagnoses were aorto-pulmonary window, patent ductus arteriosus, and vascular ring. Thorough and extensive echocardiographic scanning coupled with cooperative or adequately sedated patients by an experienced operator using an efficient echocardiographic machine might improve the accuracy of transthoracic echocardiography in the diagnosis of congenital heart diseases.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"