Feasibility of a new generation three-dimensional echocardiography for right ventricular volumetric and functional measurements

Gloria Tamborini, Denise Brusoni, Jorge Eduardo Torres Molina, Claudia Agnese Galli, Anna Maltagliati, Manuela Muratori, Francesca Susini, Chiara Colombo, Francesco Maffessanti, Mauro Pepi
American Journal of Cardiology 2008 August 15, 102 (4): 499-505
Right ventricular (RV) dimensions and function are of diagnostic and prognostic importance in cardiac disease. Because of the peculiar morphology of the right ventricle, 2-dimensional echocardiography has several limitations in RV evaluation. Recently, new 3-dimensional transthoracic echocardiographic software adapted for RV morphology was introduced. The aims of this study were to evaluate the feasibility of 3-dimensional RV analysis in a large population and to compare and correlate 3-dimensional RV data with classic 2-dimensional and Doppler parameters, including tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion and peak systolic velocity on Doppler tissue imaging, RV fractional shortening area, RV stroke volume (by the Doppler method), and pulmonary arterial systolic pressure. Two hundred subjects were studied: 48 normal controls and 152 patients with valvular heart disease (104 patients), idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (20 patients), or pulmonary hypertension (28 patients). The mean times for 3-dimensional acquisition and 3-dimensional reconstruction were 3 +/- 1 and 4 +/- 2 minutes, respectively. Imaging quality was good in most cases (85%). The mean RV diastolic and systolic volumes were 103 +/- 38 and 46 +/- 28 ml, respectively. The RV ejection fraction (RVEF) was correlated negatively with pulmonary arterial systolic pressure and positively with tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, peak systolic velocity, and fractional shortening area. The pathologic group was characterized by larger RV volumes and lower RVEFs. Three-dimensional echocardiography clearly showed that in the pathologic group, patients with pulmonary hypertension had the largest RV volumes and the lowest RVEFs and that those with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy were characterized by RVEFs lower than those of patients with valvular disease. In conclusion, this new quantitative 3-dimensional method to assess RV volumes and function is feasible, relatively simple, and not time consuming. Data obtained with 3-dimensional analysis are well correlated with those obtained by 2-dimensional and Doppler methods and can differentiate normal and pathologic subjects.

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