A new approach to fetal echocardiography: digital casts of the fetal cardiac chambers and great vessels for detection of congenital heart disease

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Goncalves, Luis F.; Espinoza, Jimmy; Lee, Wesley; Nien, Jyh Kae; Hong, Joon-Seok; Santolaya-Forgas, Joaquin; Mazor, Moshe; Romero, Roberto
Issue Date
American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
J Ultrasound Med 2005; 24:415-424
congenital heart diseasefetal echocardiographyFetal Heart/*ultrasonography4-dimensional ultrasonographyspatiotemporal image correlation3-dimensional ultrasonography4D3D
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to describe a method of 4-dimensional (4D) reconstruction of the cardiac chambers and outflow tracts using a combination of spatiotemporal image correlation, "inversion mode," and "B-flow" imaging. METHODS: Spatiotemporal image correlation and the inversion mode were used in the examination of the volume data sets of 23 fetuses with congenital heart anomalies. A subset was also examined with B-flow imaging using the gradient light algorithm. Digital reconstructions from abnormal hearts were compared with a library obtained from fetuses without abnormalities. RESULTS: Rendered images of the 4-chamber view using the inversion mode were characterized by: (1) echogenic chambers; (2) sharp delineation of chamber contours when compared with 2-dimensional (2D) images; and (3) distinct display of the myocardium, interventricular septum, interatrial septum, and mitral and tricuspid valves as anechoic structures. Ventricular septal defects, abnormal differential insertion of the atrioventricular valves, and valve atresia were well visualized with the inversion mode. The application of inversion mode or B-flow imaging to 4D rendering of the outflow tracts resulted in "digital casts" displaying the spatial relationships between the outflow tracts as well as the connections between the great arteries and ventricular chambers. The spatial relationships and communications among cardiac structures cannot be visualized with conventional 2D ultrasonography. CONCLUSIONS: The application of spatiotemporal image correlation, inversion mode, and B-flow imaging generates information about the anatomy and pathologic characteristics of the fetal heart (digital casts) that cannot be obtained with 2D fetal echocardiography. We propose that these modalities enhance the information provided by ultrasonographic interrogation of the fetal heart and will improve prenatal diagnosis.
0278-4297 (Print)
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College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원)Obstetrics & Gynecology (산부인과전공)Journal Papers (저널논문_산부인과학전공)
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