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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Apr;37(4):423-31. doi: 10.1002/uog.8840. Epub 2011 Mar 2.

Four-chamber view and 'swing technique' (FAST) echo: a novel and simple algorithm to visualize standard fetal echocardiographic planes.

Author information

  • 1Perinatology Research Branch, NICHD/NIH/DHHS, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,Wayne State University/Hutzel Women's Hospital, Detroit, MI 48201, USA. lyeo@med.wayne.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe a novel and simple algorithm (four-chamber view and 'swing technique' (FAST) echo) for visualization of standard diagnostic planes of fetal echocardiography from dataset volumes obtained with spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC) and applying a new display technology (OmniView).

METHODS:

We developed an algorithm to image standard fetal echocardiographic planes by drawing four dissecting lines through the longitudinal view of the ductal arch contained in a STIC volume dataset. Three of the lines are locked to provide simultaneous visualization of targeted planes, and the fourth line (unlocked) 'swings' through the ductal arch image (swing technique), providing an infinite number of cardiac planes in sequence. Each line generates the following plane(s): (a) Line 1: three-vessels and trachea view; (b) Line 2: five-chamber view and long-axis view of the aorta (obtained by rotation of the five-chamber view on the y-axis); (c) Line 3: four-chamber view; and (d) 'swing line': three-vessels and trachea view, five-chamber view and/or long-axis view of the aorta, four-chamber view and stomach. The algorithm was then tested in 50 normal hearts in fetuses at 15.3-40 weeks' gestation and visualization rates for cardiac diagnostic planes were calculated. To determine whether the algorithm could identify planes that departed from the normal images, we tested the algorithm in five cases with proven congenital heart defects.

RESULTS:

In normal cases, the FAST echo algorithm (three locked lines and rotation of the five-chamber view on the y-axis) was able to generate the intended planes (longitudinal view of the ductal arch, pulmonary artery, three-vessels and trachea view, five-chamber view, long-axis view of the aorta, four-chamber view) individually in 100% of cases (except for the three-vessels and trachea view, which was seen in 98% (49/50)) and simultaneously in 98% (49/50). The swing technique was able to generate the three-vessels and trachea view, five-chamber view and/or long-axis view of the aorta, four-chamber view and stomach in 100% of normal cases. In the abnormal cases, the FAST echo algorithm demonstrated the cardiac defects and displayed views that deviated from what was expected from the examination of normal hearts. The swing technique was useful for demonstrating the specific diagnosis due to visualization of an infinite number of cardiac planes in sequence.

CONCLUSIONS:

This novel and simple algorithm can be used to visualize standard fetal echocardiographic planes in normal fetal hearts. The FAST echo algorithm may simplify examination of the fetal heart and could reduce operator dependency. Using this algorithm, inability to obtain expected views or the appearance of abnormal views in the generated planes should raise the index of suspicion for congenital heart disease.

Copyright © 2011 ISUOG. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

PMID:
20878671
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3037435
Free PMC Article
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