Background - The positions, sizes, and shapes of ventricular septal defects (VSDs) can be difficult to assess by 2-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). Volume-rendered 3-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) can provide unique views of VSDs from the left ventricular (LV) side, allowing complete assessment of their circumference and spatial orientations to other anatomic structures. Methods and Results - Seventeen experimentally created defects of various locations, sizes, and shapes were imaged and reconstructed in 9 explanted porcine hearts. From an en face projection, major and minor axis diameters of the defects were measured, and these data were compared with direct anatomic measurements. Optimal reconstructions of the VSDs were obtained in all heart specimens, accurately depicting their positions and shapes. The correlations between 3DE and anatomy for the VSD major and minor axis diameters were y=1.0x+0.3 (r=0.88, P<0.001) and y=1.0x-1.4 (r=0.89, P<0.001), respectively. Good agreement between the 2 methods was demonstrated for all measurements. Our experience from the in vitro model was then applied to patient studies. Optimal LV en face reconstructions were obtained in 45 of 51 patients, permitting detailed assessment of the positions, sizes, and shapes of the VSDs. In the 25 patients with comparative surgical measurements, the correlations between 3DE and surgery for the VSD major and minor axis diameters were y=0.81x+2.1 (r=0.92, P<0.001) and y=0.73x+2.0 (r=0.91, P<0.001), respectively. Good agreement was demonstrated between measurements made by 3DE and those obtained at surgery. Conclusions - 3DE provides excellent visualization of various types of VSDs. From an LV en face projection, the positions, sizes, and shapes of VSDs can be accurately determined. Such precise imaging will be beneficial for surgical and catheter-based closure of difficult perimembranous and singular or multiple muscular VSDs.
- Heart septal defects
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine