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  • Abstract: transthoracic echocardiography x
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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

John B Chambers

This is a practical description of how replacement valves are assessed using echocardiography. Normal transthoracic appearances including normal variants are described. The problem of differentiating normal function, patient–prosthesis mismatch and pathological obstruction in aortic replacement valves with high gradients is discussed. Obstruction and abnormal regurgitation is described for valves in the aortic, mitral and right-sided positions and when to use echocardiography in suspected infective endocarditis. The roles of transoesophageal and stress echocardiography are described and finally when other imaging techniques may be useful.

Open access

John Fryearson, Nicola C Edwards, Sagar N Doshi and Richard P Steeds

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation is now accepted as a standard mode of treatment for an increasingly large population of patients with severe aortic stenosis. With the availability of this technique, echocardiographers need to be familiar with the imaging characteristics that can help to identify which patients are best suited to conventional surgery or transcatheter aortic valve implantation, and what parameters need to be measured. This review highlights the major features that should be assessed during transthoracic echocardiography before presentation of the patient to the ‘Heart Team’. In addition, this review summarises the aspects to be considered on echocardiography during follow-up assessment after successful implantation of a transcatheter aortic valve.

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

Bashir Alaour, Christina Menexi and Benoy N Shah

International best practice guidelines recommend lifelong follow-up of patients that have undergone valve repair or replacement surgery and provide recommendations on the utilization of echocardiography during follow-up. However, such follow-up regimes can vary significantly between different centres and sometimes within the same centre. We undertook this study to determine the patterns of clinical follow-up and use of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) amongst cardiologists in a large UK tertiary centre. In this retrospective study, we identified patients that underwent heart valve repair or replacement surgery in 2008. We used local postal codes to identify patients within our hospital’s follow-up catchment area. We determined the frequency of clinical follow-up and use of transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) during the 9-year follow-up period (2009–2016 inclusive). Of 552 patients that underwent heart valve surgery, 93 (17%) were eligible for local follow-up. Of these, the majority (61/93, 66%) were discharged after their 6-week post-operative check-up with no further follow-up. Of the remaining 32 patients, there was remarkable heterogeneity in follow-up regimes and use of TTE. This variation did not correlate with the prosthesis type. In summary, the frequency of clinical follow-up and use of echocardiography is highly variable in contemporary practice. Many patients are inappropriately discharged back to their family doctor with no plans for hospital follow-up. These data further support the creation of dedicated specialist heart valve clinics to optimize patient care, ensure rational use of TTE and optimize adherence with best practice guidelines.

Open access

Mehrnoush Toufan, Leili Pourafkari, Fariborz Akbarzadeh and Nader D Nader


Right atrial appendage aneurysms (RAAAs) are rarely encountered. If symptomatic, they present with atrial arrhythmias or embolic events. Surgical resection is indicated for symptomatic patients. We describe a 65-year-old man presenting with palpitation for 6 months. Electrocardiogram showed atrial flutter. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed a large thin-walled cystic mass anterior to right ventricular outflow tract, which was confirmed to be a giant RAAA by contrast transoesophageal echocardiography and later by contrast-enhanced computerised tomography. The patient underwent electrocardioversion, following which he remained in sinus rhythm and was asymptomatic during the 3 months follow-up period.

Learning points

  • RAAA can present with atrial flutter.

  • Transoesophageal contrast echocardiography is the most valuable non-invasive tool in diagnosis of RAAA.

  • Although computed tomography scan is not necessary for establishing the diagnosis, it may provide useful information regarding the structural anatomy.

Open access

Nicola Smith, Richard Steeds, Navroz Masani, Julie Sandoval, Gill Wharton, Jane Allen, John Chambers, Richard Jones, Guy Lloyd, Bushra Rana, Kevin O'Gallagher, Richard Wheeler and Vishal Sharma

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a relatively common inherited cardiac condition with a prevalence of approximately one in 500. It results in otherwise unexplained hypertrophy of the myocardium and predisposes the patient to a variety of disease-related complications including sudden cardiac death. Echocardiography is of vital importance in the diagnosis, assessment and follow-up of patients with known or suspected HCM. The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) has previously published a minimum dataset for transthoracic echocardiography, providing the core parameters necessary when performing a standard echocardiographic study. However, for patients with known or suspected HCM, additional views and measurements are necessary. These additional views allow more subtle abnormalities to be detected or may provide important information in order to identify patients with an adverse prognosis. The aim of this Guideline is to outline the additional images and measurements that should be obtained when performing a study on a patient with known or suspected HCM.

Open access

Kelly Victor, Michael M Sabetai and John B Chambers

This case report highlights the utility of paravertebral (PV) imaging in the diagnosis of aortic dissection, the evaluation of left ventricular systolic function and drawing the distinction between pleural and pericardial effusions. In this case, less attenuation of the ultrasound beam, reduced lung viscosity due to pleural effusions and less impedance mismatch between media led to images of superior quality and high diagnostic value. This supports the use of paravertebral imaging as an adjunct to conventional echocardiography windows, particularly when conventional transthoracic imaging proves challenging.

Learning points:

  • PV images provide superior resolution when interrogating the descending aorta and thus can reveal incidental findings such as aortic dissection.

  • PV imaging provides clearer delineation between pericardial and pleural effusions.

  • Additional information may be obtained from the PV window in relation to left ventricular systolic function particularly in the setting of suboptimal transthoracic image quality.

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

Carolyn M Larsen and Sharon L Mulvagh

Cardio-oncology is a rapidly growing field aimed at minimizing the effects of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in cancer survivors. To meet this aim, patients are assessed at baseline to define their risk of cardiotoxicity and then followed closely during and after chemotherapy to assess for early signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Cardiac imaging, and in particular, transthoracic echocardiography, plays an essential role in the baseline assessment and serial follow-up of cardio-oncology patients. The objectives of this paper are to review the mechanisms of cardiotoxicity of several common chemotherapeutic agents associated with an increased risk for left ventricular systolic dysfunction and to outline recommendations regarding the baseline assessment and serial follow-up of cardio-oncology patients with a focus on the role of echocardiography.