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Three-Dimensional Transthoracic Echocardiography in Identification of Aorto-Right Atrial Fistula and Aorto-Right Ventricular Fistulas


Address for correspondence and reprint requests: Vinod Patel, M.D., Division of Cardiology, USF South Tampa Center, 2 Tampa General Circle, 3rd Floor, Tampa, FL 33606, Fax: +(813) 259-8679; E-mail:


We report the case of a 72-year-old woman who developed new onset right ventricular failure after redo aortic valve replacement. The diagnosis of left to right shunt was initially made using two-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography (2DTTE) and 2D transesophageal echo with color Doppler (TEE). Definite diagnosis of aorto-right atrial and aorto-right ventricular fistula was made using thee-dimensional transthoracic echocardiography (3DTTE) with color flow Doppler imaging. Early recognition and diagnosis of this rare surgical complication is imperative for prompt surgical repair of this lethal defect. 3DTTE should be utilized in cases of new onset heart failure with unclear etiology to diagnose unusual causes of this potentially fatal condition. (Echocardiography 2010;27:E105-E108)