Quantification of left ventricular size and function using contrast-enhanced real-time 3D imaging with power modulation: comparison with cardiac MRI

Patrick D Coon, Heidi Pollard, Kathleen Furlong, Roberto M Lang, Victor Mor-Avi
Ultrasound in Medicine & Biology 2012, 38 (11): 1853-8
In patients with optimal images, real-time 3-D echocardiography (RT3DE) allows accurate evaluation of left ventricular (LV) volumes and ejection fraction (EF). However, in patients with poor acoustic windows, lower correlations were reported despite the use of contrast. We hypothesized that power modulation (PM) RT3DE imaging that uses low mechanical indices and provides uniform LV opacification could overcome this problem. Accordingly, we sought to: (i) Test the feasibility of quantification of LV volumes and EF from contrast-enhanced (CE) PM RT3DE images, (ii) validate this technique against cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) reference and (iii) test its clinical value by quantifying the improvement in accuracy and reproducibility. We studied 20 patients who underwent CMR, harmonic nonenhanced RT3DE and CE PM RT3DE imaging on the same day. All images were analyzed to obtain end-systolic and end-diastolic LV volumes (EDV, ESV) and calculate EF. To determine the reproducibility of each RT3DE technique, imaging was repeated in the same setting by a second sonographer. In addition, patients were divided according to the quality of their RT3DE images into two groups, for which agreement with CMR and reproducibility were calculated separately. CE PM RT3DE imaging improved the accuracy of EDV, ESV and EF measurements in patients with poor acoustic windows without significantly affecting those in patients with optimal images. In addition, CE PM RT3DE imaging improved the reproducibility of the measurements, as reflected by a twofold decrease in intermeasurement variability. Importantly, the variability in CE PM RT3DE-derived volumes and EF was under 10%, irrespective of image quality. This methodology may become the new standard for LV size and function, which will be particularly important in patients with poor acoustic windows or contraindications to CMR.

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