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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2004 Jun 2;43(11):2083-90.

High-resolution transthoracic real-time three-dimensional echocardiography: quantitation of cardiac volumes and function using semi-automatic border detection and comparison with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

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Medizinische Klinik I, Aachen, Germany.



We sought to validate high-resolution transthoracic real-time (RT) three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE), in combination with a novel semi-automatic contour detection algorithm, for the assessment of left ventricular (LV) volumes and function in patients.


Quantitative RT-3DE has been limited by impaired image quality and time-consuming manual data analysis.


Twenty-four subjects with abnormal (n = 14) or normal (n = 10) LVs were investigated. The results for end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), and ejection fraction (EF) obtained by manual tracing were compared with the results determined by the semi-automatic border detection algorithm. Moreover, the results of the semi-automatic method were compared with volumes and EF obtained by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI).


Excellent correlation coefficients (r = 0.98 to 0.99) and low variability (EDV -1.3 +/- 8.6 ml; ESV -0.2 +/- 5.4 ml; EF -0.1 +/- 2.7%; p = NS) were observed between the semi-automatically and manually assessed data. The RT-3DE data correlated highly with CMRI (r = 0.98). However, LV volumes were underestimated by RT-3DE compared with CMRI (EDV -13.6 +/- 18.9 ml, p = 0.002; ESV -12.8 +/- 20.5 ml, p = 0.005). The difference for EF was not significant between the two methods (EF 0.9 +/- 4.4%, p = NS). Observer variability was acceptable, and repeatability of the method was excellent.


The RT-3DE, in combination with a semi-automatic contour tracing algorithm, allows accurate determination of cardiac volumes and function compared with both manual tracing and CMRI. High repeatability suggests applicability of the method for the serial follow-up of patients with cardiac disease.

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