Despite 3D echocardiography (3DE) acquiring significantly greater data than standard 2D echocardiography (2DE), it is underutilised in assessing cardiac anatomy and physiology. A key advantage is the ability of a single 3DE acquisition to be post-processed to generate volume-rendered 3D models and an unlimited number of multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) images. We describe the case of a highly anxious patient with life-threatening complex aortic valve endocarditis and aortic root abscess, refusing transesophageal echocardiography (TOE) under general anaesthesia with tachycardia, breathlessness and acute kidney injury precluding accurate or safe gated (computed tomography) CT, who was comprehensively assessed with a rapid 3D-TOE under sedation. This led to timely surgery and an excellent outcome for the patient.
- 3DE is of greater clinical value than 2DE as it is able to post-process a single 3DE image acquisition into volume rendered 3D models, and provide an unlimited number of multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) images.
- 3DE is highly effective in difficult cases where speed is important.
- 3DE is superior in the planning of complex surgical cases.