Three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasonography for obtaining the four and five-chamber view: comparison with cross-sectional (2-D) fetal sonographic screening

Authors

  • M. Meyer-Wittkopf,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine, Philipps-University of Marburg, Baldingerstr, D – 35041, Marburg, Germany
    • Adolph Basser Cardiac Institute, New Childrens Hospital, Hawkesbury Road,Westmead, Sydney, PO Box 3515 Parramatta NSW 2124 Australia
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  • N. Rappe,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine, Philipps-University of Marburg, Baldingerstr, D – 35041, Marburg, Germany
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  • F. Sierra,

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine, Philipps-University of Marburg, Baldingerstr, D – 35041, Marburg, Germany
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  • H. Barth,

    1. Department of Paediatrics – Section Paediatric Cardiology, Philipps-University of Marburg, Baldingerstr, D – 35041, Marburg, Germany
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  • S. Schmidt

    1. Department of Obstetrics and Perinatal Medicine, Philipps-University of Marburg, Baldingerstr, D – 35041, Marburg, Germany
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Abstract

Objectives

To assess the ability of Doppler-gated 3-D fetal echocardiography to reconstruct and display specific cardiac structures routinely visualized during antenatal ultrasound in a population at low risk for cardiac anomalies. To determine whether any advantage is offered by 3-D sonographic cardiac examination over conventional sonographic fetal screening techniques.

Design

After routine two-dimensional sonographic examination, 3-D cardiac data were collected prospectively in 30 fetuses with gestational ages between 19 and 23 weeks from a low risk patient population. Basic echocardiographic key views were derived from 3-D data and selected for reconstruction and analysis. Four- and five-chamber views were rated and only those views judged to be well visualized were considered as positive results.

Results

The four- and five-chamber views were well visualized in all but one fetus using conventional 2-D imaging. Gated 3-D volume data sets enabled visualization of these stuctures in only 19 of 30 fetuses but provided additional structural depth and allowed a dynamic 3-D perspective of valvar morphology and ventricular wall motion. The right ventricular outflow tract was available from the 3-D volumes in 16 subjects.

Conclusions

Considering the versatility of gated 3-D fetal cardiac imaging we believe that it may soon become an important component of fetal screening thus helping to retrieve standard cardiac cross sections when 2-D imaging is limited by lack of sonographer experience or sonographic windows. Diagnostically acceptable echocardiographic views were obtained more consistently with 2-D ultrasound than with 3-D volume data. Copyright © 2000 International Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology

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