Ultrasound beam orientation during standard two-dimensional imaging: assessment by three-dimensional echocardiography.
Standard two-dimensional echocardiographic image planes are defined by anatomic landmarks and assumptions regarding their orientation when these landmarks are visualized. However, variations of anatomy and technique may invalidate these assumptions and thus limit reproducibility and accuracy of cardiac dimensions recorded from these views. To overcome this problem, we have developed a three-dimensional echocardiograph consisting of a real-time scanner, three-dimensional spatial locater, and personal computer. This system displays the line of intersection of a real-time image and an orthogonal reference image and may be used to assess actual image orientation during standardized two-dimensional imaging when the line-of-intersection display is not observed by the operator. Three hundred forty standard images were assessed from 85 examinations by 11 echocardiographers. Twenty-four percent of the unguided standard images were optimally positioned within +/- 5 mm and +/- 15 degrees of the standard. Of the optimal images, two thirds were parasternal long-axis views. A subsequent study with three-dimensional echocardiography and line-of-intersection guidance of image positioning showed 80% of the guided images to be optimally positioned, a threefold improvement (p < 0.001). Two-dimensional echocardiography does not achieve reasonably consistent optimal positioning of standard imaging views, suggesting that measurements taken from these views are likely to be suboptimal. Three-dimensional echocardiography that uses line-of-intersection guidance improves image positioning threefold and should therefore improve the accuracy and reproducibility of quantitative echocardiographic measurements derived from these images.
King, DL; Harrison, MR; Gopal, AS; Kwan, OL; DeMaria, AN
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