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Open access

Ramasamy Manivarmane, Rebecca Taylor and Rajdeep Khattar

Our case highlights the finding of an abnormal pulmonary valve on 2D echocardiography, confirmed to be of bicuspid morphology with 3D imaging. The use of biplane imaging both in transthoracic and transoesophageal echocardiography and routine use of three-dimensional views particularly in transoesophageal echocardiography are of incremental value in better delineating pulmonary valve anatomy.

Learning points:

  • Bicuspid pulmonary valve as an isolated clinical entity is a rare finding in clinical practice with an incidence of about 0.1%.

  • The true prevalence of the condition may be underestimated because of difficulty in visualising the pulmonary valve en-face on standard two-dimensional echocardiography.

  • Trans-oesophageal echocardiography may provide better visualization of the pulmonary valve when transthoracic images are affected by interference from the left lung.

  • Routine use of 3D echocardiography with biplane and zoomed views should be advocated for a full morphological assessment of the pulmonary valve, whether imaging via the transthoracic or transoesophageal approach.

Open access

Anne Ringle, Anne Dornhorst, Michaela B Rehman, Cristina Ruisanchez and Petros Nihoyannopoulos

Background

We sought to assess the long-term evolution of left ventricular (LV) function using two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) for the detection of preclinical diabetic cardiomyopathy, in asymptomatic type 1 diabetic patients, over a 6-year follow-up.

Design and methods

Sixty-six asymptomatic type 1 diabetic patients with no cardiovascular risk factors were compared to 26 matched healthy controls. Conventional, 2D and 3D-STE were performed at baseline. A subgroup of 14 patients underwent a 6-year follow-up evaluation.

Results

At baseline, diabetic patients had similar LV ejection fraction (60 vs 61%; P = NS), but impaired longitudinal function, as assessed by 2D-global longitudinal strain (GLS) (−18.9 ± 2 vs −20.5 ± 2; P = 0.0002) and 3D-GLS (−17.5 ± 2 vs −19 ± 2; P = 0.003). At follow-up, diabetic patients had worsened longitudinal function compared to baseline (2D-GLS: −18.4 ± 1 vs −19.2 ± 1; P = 0.03). Global circumferential (GCS) and radial (GRS) strains were unchanged at baseline and during follow-up. Metabolic status did not correlate with GLS, whereas GCS and GRS showed a good correlation, suggestive of a compensatory increase of circumferential and radial functions in advanced stages of the disease – long-term diabetes (GCS: −26 ± 3 vs −23.3 ± 3; P = 0.008) and in the presence of microvascular complications (GRS: 38.8 ± 9 vs 34.3 ± 8; P = 0.04).

Conclusions

Subclinical myocardial dysfunction can be detected by 2D and 3D-STE in type 1 diabetic patients, independently of any other cardiovascular risk factors. Diabetic cardiomyopathy progression was suggested by a mild decrease in longitudinal function at the follow-up, but did not extend to a clinical expression of the disease, as no death or over heart failure was reported.

Open access

Peter W Wood, Patrick H Gibson and Harald Becher

Several methods of analysis are available for quantification of left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction using three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography. This study compared the accuracy and reproducibility of five methods of analysis in a novel, irregularly shaped dynamic heart phantom with excellent image quality. Five 3D datasets were acquired on a Philips IE33 platform using an X5-1 3D transducer. Each dataset was analysed by five different methods using the Philips QLab v8.1 software: Methods A1, A2 and A3, semi-automated contour detection with varying degrees of user correction; Method B, Simpson's biplane method using optimally aligned four- and two-chamber views and Method C, method of discs, manually delineated in reconstructed short-axis views. Time–volume curves were generated for each method and compared with the true volumes measured throughout systole in the phantom heart. A second observer repeated measurements by each method in a single 3D dataset. Method A1 (uncorrected semi-automated contouring) produced the most consistent time–volume curves, although end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes varied between datasets. Any manual correction of contours (Methods A2, A3 and B) resulted in significant variation in the time–volume curves, with less consistent endocardial tracking. Method C was not only the most accurate and reproducible method, but also the most time-consuming one. Different methods of 3D volume quantification vary significantly in accuracy and reproducibility using an irregular phantom heart model. Although contouring may appear optimal in long-axis views, this may not be replicated circumferentially, and the resulting measures appeared to be less robust following the manual correction of semi-automated contours.

Open access

Stephan Stoebe, Michael Metze, Daniel Jurisch, Bhupendar Tayal, Kilian Solty, Ulrich Laufs, Dietrich Pfeiffer and Andreas Hagendorff

Purpose

The study compares the feasibility of the quantitative volumetric and semi-quantitative approach for quantification of chronic aortic regurgitation (AR) using different imaging modalities.

Methods

Left ventricular (LV) volumes, regurgitant volumes (RVol) and regurgitant fractions (RF) were assessed retrospectively by 2D, 3D echocardiography and cMRI in 55 chronic AR patients. Semi-quantitative parameters were assessed by 2D echocardiography.

Results

22 (40%) patients had mild, 25 (46%) moderate and 8 (14%) severe AR. The quantitative volumetric approach was feasible using 2D, 3D echocardiography and cMRI, whereas the feasibility of semi-quantitative parameters varied considerably. LV volume (LVEDV, LVESV, SVtot) analyses showed good correlations between the different imaging modalities, although significantly increased LV volumes were assessed by cMRI. RVol was significantly different between 2D/3D echocardiography and 2D echocardiography/cMRI but was not significantly different between 3D echocardiography/cMRI. RF was not statistically different between 2D echocardiography/cMRI and 3D echocardiography/cMRI showing poor correlations (r < 0.5) between the different imaging modalities. For AR grading by RF, moderate agreement was observed between 2D/3D echocardiography and 2D echocardiography/cMRI and good agreement was observed between 3D echocardiography/cMRI.

Conclusion

Semi-quantitative parameters are difficult to determine by 2D echocardiography in clinical routine. The quantitative volumetric RF assessment seems to be feasible and can be discussed as an alternative approach in chronic AR. However, RVol and RF did not correlate well between the different imaging modalities. The best agreement for grading of AR severity by RF was observed between 3D echocardiography and cMRI. LV volumes can be verified by different approaches and different imaging modalities.

Open access

Stephan Stoebe, Dietrich Pfeiffer and Andreas Hagendorff

The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of the visualisation of 3D4D coronary flow in detectable segments of coronary arteries. Regarding the feasibility of this new approach, the hypothesis was proposed that the flow signals of the course of detectable coronary arteries can be better visualised by 3D4D echocardiography than by the conventional 2D approach. A total of 30 consecutive patients with sinus rhythm, in whom the distal left anterior descending artery (LAD) was visualised by 2D colour-coded Doppler echocardiography, were selected for 3D4D scanning procedures. All measurements were performed using a Vivid 7 or E9. All segments visualised by 2D colour-coded Doppler echocardiography were also examined by 3D4D echocardiography. Using defined settings, the width of the colour-coded flow signal differs significantly between 2D- and 3D4D echocardiography. The length of larger segments of the visualised colour-coded flow signal of the coronary flow could be better detected with 2D imaging. Small segments of coronary artery flow (<11 mm), however, could be significantly better visualised by 3D4D echocardiography. The main advantage of 3D4D echocardiography of the coronary artery flow is the visualisation of the proportions of vessels with complex morphology. 3D4D echocardiography of LAD flow by colour-coded Doppler echocardiography raises new possibilities for the direct flow visualisation of the detectable segments of coronaries. With its sufficiently high spatial and temporal resolution, this new method has the potential to be implemented in clinical scenarios. The possible application to the quantification of stenoses by the flow visualisation has to be evaluated in further studies.

Open access

Stephan Stoebe, Katharina Lange, Dietrich Pfeiffer and Andreas Hagendorff

The present study was carried out to test the feasibility of proximal right coronary artery (RCA) imaging and to detect proximal RCA narrowing and occlusion by 2D and 3D transthoracic echocardiography in comparison to coronary angiography (CA). Standardised 2D and 3D echocardiography were performed prior to CA in 97 patients with sinus rhythm. The following parameters were determined: the longest longitudinal detectable RCA segment, the minimum and maximum width of the RCA, the area and number of detectable narrowing >50% of the proximal RCA and the correlation between the echocardiographic and angiographic findings. The visualisation of the proximal RCA and the detection of coronary artery narrowing in the proximal RCA are generally possible. Differences in width and area were not statistically significant between 2D and 3D echocardiography, but showed significant differences between echocardiography and CA. For the detection of proximal RCA narrowing, higher sensitivity and specificity values were obtained by 2D than by 3D echocardiography. However, in patients with sufficient image quality 3D echocardiography permits a more detailed visualisation of the anatomical proportions and an en-face view into the RCA ostium. The visualisation of the proximal RCA is feasible and narrowing can be detected by 2D and 3D echocardiography if image quality is sufficient. CA is the gold standard for the detection of coronary artery stenoses. However, the potential of this new approach is clinically important because crucial findings of the proximal RCA can be presumably detected non-invasively prior to CA.

Open access

Tudor Trache, Stephan Stöbe, Adrienn Tarr, Dietrich Pfeiffer and Andreas Hagendorff

Comparison of 3D and 2D speckle tracking performed on standard 2D and triplane 2D datasets of normal and pathological left ventricular (LV) wall-motion patterns with a focus on the effect that 3D volume rate (3DVR), image quality and tracking artifacts have on the agreement between 2D and 3D speckle tracking. 37 patients with normal LV function and 18 patients with ischaemic wall-motion abnormalities underwent 2D and 3D echocardiography, followed by offline speckle tracking measurements. The values of 3D global, regional and segmental strain were compared with the standard 2D and triplane 2D strain values. Correlation analysis with the LV ejection fraction (LVEF) was also performed. The 3D and 2D global strain values correlated good in both normally and abnormally contracting hearts, though systematic differences between the two methods were observed. Of the 3D strain parameters, the area strain showed the best correlation with the LVEF. The numerical agreement of 3D and 2D analyses varied significantly with the volume rate and image quality of the 3D datasets. The highest correlation between 2D and 3D peak systolic strain values was found between 3D area and standard 2D longitudinal strain. Regional wall-motion abnormalities were similarly detected by 2D and 3D speckle tracking. 2DST of triplane datasets showed similar results to those of conventional 2D datasets. 2D and 3D speckle tracking similarly detect normal and pathological wall-motion patterns. Limited image quality has a significant impact on the agreement between 3D and 2D numerical strain values.

Open access

Adrienn Tarr, Stephan Stoebe, Jan Tuennemann, Zsuzsanna Baka, Dietrich Pfeiffer, Albert Varga and Andreas Hagendorff

The aim of the present study was to find out whether early cardiac changes in patients receiving chemotherapy can be detected by the conventional and deformation parameters of 2D and 3D echocardiography. Twenty-five healthy subjects with normal regional left ventricular function (group 1) and 25 patients receiving chemotherapy (group 2) underwent 2D and 3D transthoracic echocardiography (Toshiba Artida Medical System). All patients (group 2) were examined before and during cardiotoxic chemotherapy at a 3-month follow-up. Left ventricular volumes, ejection fraction, muscle mass, global longitudinal, global radial, global circumferential strain, and rotation were analyzed with 2D and 3D echocardiography, while twist and time-to-peak-intervals were analyzed with 3D echocardiography. For left ventricular volumes and muscle mass, no significant differences were seen between the two study groups (P<0.05). According to our results, myocardial dysfunction induced by cardiotoxic chemotherapy can be detected by 2D global radial strain. Detecting myocardial dysfunction by global longitudinal and circumferential strain requires more than 3 months follow-up. Changes in rotation, twist or time-to-peak intervals could not be verified at the 3-month follow-up in the present study. 2D global radial strain seems to be the most sensitive and robust parameter to detect early myocardial damage during chemotherapy. 3D echocardiography is not yet an established method to detect myocardial damage in clinical practice due to lower spatial and temporal resolution.

Open access

Thomas Sturmberger, Johannes Niel, Josef Aichinger and Christian Ebner

Summary

We present the case of a 26-year-old male with acute tonsillitis who was referred for coronary angiography because of chest pain, elevated cardiac biomarkers, and biphasic T waves. The patient had no cardiovascular risk factors. Echocardiography showed no wall motion abnormalities and no pericardial effusion. 2D speckle tracking revealed distinct decreased regional peak longitudinal systolic strain in the lateral and posterior walls. Ischemic disease was extremely unlikely in view of his young age, negative family history regarding coronary artery disease, and lack of regional wall motion abnormalities on the conventional 2D echocardiogram. Coronary angiography was deferred as myocarditis was suspected. To confirm the diagnosis, cardiac magnetic resonance tomography (MRT) was performed, showing subepicardial delayed hyperenhancement in the lateral and posterior walls correlating closely with the strain pattern obtained by 2D speckle tracking echocardiography. With a working diagnosis of acute myocarditis associated with acute tonsillitis, we prescribed antibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The patient’s clinical signs resolved along with normalization of serum creatine kinase (CK) levels, and the patient was discharged on the third day after admission.

Learning points

  • Acute myocarditis can mimic acute coronary syndromes.

  • Conventional 2D echocardiography lacks specific features for detection of subtle regional wall motion abnormalities.

  • 2D speckle tracking expands the scope of echocardiography in identifying myocardial dysfunction derived from edema in acute myocarditis.

Open access

C Bleakley, M Eskandari, O Aldalati, K Moschonas, M Huang, A Whittaker and M J Monaghan

Background

The mitral valve orifice area (MVOA) is difficult to assess accurately by 2D echocardiography because of geometric assumptions; therefore, 3D planimetry may offer advantages. We studied the differences in MVOA measurements between the most frequently used methods, to determine if 3D planimetry would result in the re-grading of severity in any cases, and whether it was a more accurate predictor of clinical outcomes.

Methods

This was a head-to-head comparison of the three most commonly used techniques to grade mitral stenosis (MS) by orifice area and to assess their impact on clinical outcomes. 2D measurements (pressure half-time (PHT), planimetry) and 3D planimetry were performed retrospectively on patients with at least mild MS. The clinical primary endpoint was defined as a composite of MV balloon valvotomy, mitral valve repair or replacement (MVR) and/or acute heart failure (HF) admissions.

Results

Forty-one consecutive patients were included; the majority were female (35; 85.4%), average age 55 (17) years. Mean and peak MV gradients were 9.4 (4) mmHg and 19 (6) mmHg, respectively. 2D and 3D measures of MVOA differed significantly; mean 2D planimetry MVOA was 1.28 (0.40) cm2, mean 3D planimetry MVOA 1.15 (0.29) cm2 (P = 0.003). Mean PHT MVOA was 1.43 (0.44) cm2 (P = 0.046 and P < 0.001 in comparison to 2D and 3D planimetry methods, respectively). 3D planimetry reclassified 7 (17%) patients from mild-to-moderate MS, and 1 (2.4%) from moderate to severe. Overall, differences between the two methods were significant (X 2, P < 0.001). Only cases graded as severe by 3D predicted the primary outcome measure compared with mild or moderate cases (odds ratio 5.7).

Conclusion

3D planimetry in MS returns significantly smaller measurements, which in some cases results in the reclassification of severity. Routine use of 3D may significantly influence the management of MS, with a degree of prediction of clinical outcomes.