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Eur J Echocardiogr. 2011 Sep;12(9):656-64. doi: 10.1093/ejechocard/jer107. Epub 2011 Aug 2.

Right ventricular quantification in clinical practice: two-dimensional vs. three-dimensional echocardiography compared with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

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Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus University Medical Center, Room Ba 302, 's Gravendijkwal 230, 3015 CE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To establish the additional value of three-dimensional echocardiography (3D echo) for assessment of right ventricular (RV) size and function in patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) in everyday clinical practice, the accuracy and reproducibility of 3D echo were compared with conventional two-dimensional echocardiography (2D echo) and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging as reference.


Patients with CHD and primarily affected right ventricles (n = 62), patients with CHD and primarily affected left ventricles (LV group, n = 27), and healthy controls (n = 31) were studied. 2D echo-, 3D echo- and CMR data sets were obtained. Moderate correlations were found between RV dimensions by 2D echo and CMR-derived RV end-diastolic volumes (r = 0.32-0.77). The correlations between RV volumes obtained by 3D echo and CMR imaging were better (r = 0.71-0.97) than the 2D echo-derived correlations (P < 0.001). Only the 2D echo-derived RV inlet diameter correlated better in healthy controls than in the RV group. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis revealed that 3D echo-derived end-diastolic volume best identified RV dysfunction (sensitivity 95% and specificity 100%). The 3D echo-derived measurements were as reproducible as the 2D echo-derived measurements (n = 37, coefficients of variation ranging from 5 to 19%), with tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion being the most reproducible measurement (coefficient of variation of 6%).


3D echo improved quantitative RV size and function assessment compared with 2D echo in patients as well as in healthy controls. Everyday clinical use of 3D echo for RV assessment can be reality with the currently available software and provides incremental benefit in assessment of the right ventricle.

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