New echocardiography tool offers rapid, accurate assessment of LV function


NEW YORK (Reuters Health), May 12 - Norwegian researchers have developed a new semiautomated tool for real-time 3D echocardiography, which offers "rapid and reproducible measurements of left ventricular volumes and ejection fractions," with good agreement compared with more conventional 3D echocardiography.

Jorger Hansegard of GE Vingmed Ultrasound of Horten, Norway, and colleagues report their findings in the current online issue of BioMed Central's Cardiovascular Ultrasound.

They explain that the new semiautomated tool, GE Vingmed Ultrasound's 4DLVQ, eliminates the need for manual tracing, unlike existing commercially available tools.

The investigators used 4DLVQ to measure left ventricular end-diastolic volume (EDV), end-systolic volume (ESV), and ejection fraction (EF) in 35 patients referred for echocardiography. Findings were compared with a commercially available analysis tool (TomTec 4D LV Analysis).

Average analysis time using the new tool was 141 seconds, which was significantly shorter than 261 seconds using TomTec. There was high agreement of measured EDV, ESV, and EF with 4DLVQ compared with TomTec.

"Cardiac MRI is currently accepted as the gold standard for LV quantification, and several studies have shown that TomTec compares well with cardiac MRI, giving good agreement in measured EF, but with slightly underestimated LV volumes," Hansegard and colleagues write. "This bias is explained by differences in how the two modalities visualize trabeculae and valves, and also partial volume effects in cardiac MRI."

"Since 4DLVQ provides volume and EF measurements that agree well with TomTec, it is reasonable to believe that 4DLVQ will give similar results in a comparison with cardiac MRI. The next natural step is therefore to compare 4DLVQ against cardiac MRI," they write.

Cardiovasc Ultrasound 2009;7.

Last Updated: 2009-05-11 12:57:04 -0400 (Reuters Health)

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