Real time three-dimensional echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular function in heart failure patients: underestimation of left ventricular volume increases with the degree of dilatation

Pamela Moceri, Denis Doyen, David Bertora, Pierre Cerboni, Emile Ferrari, Pierre Gibelin
Echocardiography 2012, 29 (8): 970-7

BACKGROUND: Accurate quantification of left ventricular (LV) volumes and ejection fraction (EF) is of critical importance. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is considered as the reference and three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) is an accurate method, but only few data are available in heart failure patients. We therefore sought to compare the accuracy of real time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) and two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) for quantification of LV volumes and EF, relative to CMR imaging in an unselected population of heart failure patients.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 24 patients (17 men, age 58 ± 15 years) with history of heart failure who underwent echocardiographic assessment of LV function (2DE, RT3DE) and CMR within a period of 24 hours. Mean LV end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) was 208 ± 109 mL (121 ± 64 mL/m(2) ) and mean LVEF was 31 ± 12.8%. 3DE data sets correlate well with CMR, particularly with respect to the EF (r: 0.8, 0.86, and 0.95; P < 0.0001 for LVEDV, LVESV, and EF, respectively) with small biases (-55 mL, -44 mL, 1.1%) and acceptable limits of agreement. RT3DE provides more accurate measurements of LVEF than 2DE (z= 2.1, P = 0.037) and lower variability. However, 3DE-derived LV volumes are significantly underestimated in patients with severe LV dilatation. In patients with LVEDV below 120 mL/m(2) , RT3DE is more accurate for volumes and EF evaluation.

CONCLUSION: Compared with CMR, RT3DE is accurate for evaluation of EF and feasible in all our heart failure patients, at the expense of a significant underestimation of LV volumes, particularly when LVEDV is above 120 mL/m(2) .

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