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Three-dimensional echocardiographic evaluation of aortic disorders with rotational multiplanar imaging: experimental and clinical studies
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Journal Article --- Old month value: Mar
Transesophageal echocardiography has become a highly valuable method to assess aortic disorders. With this method, however, aortic disease has been visualized only in two-dimensional views. Advances in computer technology have introduced three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography as a developing modality in cardiac imaging. Previous efforts to obtain 3D reconstructions of the aorta, by various techniques, had limited clinical applicability. In this study we attempted to explore the feasibility and potential of 3D reconstructions of the aorta employing a widely used multiplane transesophageal imaging technique in an experimental setting and in patients. In the in vitro study, we created 35 lesions in 28 pig aortic trees (15 aortic dissections, five saccular aneurysms, five coarctations, five atheromas, and five clots within dissections). Suspending these specimens in a water bath, sequential two-dimensional images were acquired over a 180-degree rotation with a commercially available multiplane transesophageal probe and ultrasound system with a 3D software package. Data processing (digital reformation, interpolation, and segmentation) and 3D display were accomplished on an off-line computer system. 3D reconstructions were achieved and displayed in wire-frame, surface-rendered, and volume-rendered images. These 3D reconstructions corresponded well with the actual anatomic specimens in delineating the various pathologic findings. In patient studies, we collected a total of 36 studies in both adults and children with a mean age of 44.5 years (range 1 month to 82 years). In addition to normal aortas (n = 13), the spectrum of abnormalities studied included six atheromatous lesions, four aortic dissections, 10 coarctations, one aneurysm with a thrombus, and one dilated aortic root. We were able to accomplish volume-rendered 3D images depicting the aortic lesions in their true form that could be viewed in many different perspectives in all patients. We conclude that 3D echocardiography is able to display the aorta and aortic disease in a realistic manner. Although this modality still has limitations, further improvements in computer and ultrasound technology would strengthen 3D echocardiography as a clinically viable diagnostic tool, in the evaluation of aortic disorders.
Adolescent Adult Aged Aged, 80 and over Animals Aorta/anatomy & histology/pathology/ultrasonography Aortic Diseases/*pathology/*ultrasonography Child Child, Preschool Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional/*methods Echocardiography, Transesophageal/methods Female Humans *Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted Infant Male Middle Aged Rotation Swine
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