Three-Dimensional Echocardiography in Evaluation of Left Ventricular Indices


  • Conflicts of Interest: None.

Masood Ahmad, M.D., Division of Cardiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555-0766, USA. Fax: (409)772-4982; E-mail:


Accurate determination of left ventricular mass, volume, ejection fraction, and wall motion is important for clinical decision making. Currently, M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) have been routinely used for this purpose. Although these 1D or 2D modalities provide excellent diagnostic and prognostic information, they have a number of technical limitations including the time required to perform the procedure and operator-dependent image acquisitions. In addition, they are inherently limited by geometric assumption of three-dimensional (3D) left ventricular structures based on 2D slices. With the improvement in transducer technology and software development, 3D echocardiography (3DE) has become widely available. Left ventricular quantitation by 3DE has been demonstrated to be accurate by multiple studies that compared 3DE with reference techniques. In addition, 3DE measurements were found to be more reproducible and less variable than 2DE. Real time 3DE imaging has potential advantages in stress echocardiography including rapid acquisition, unlimited number of planes, avoidance of foreshortening, and precise segment matching. This is a major step forward in our diagnostic armamentarium for the evaluation of ischemia. In this review, we summarized the current evidence of 3DE for left ventricular evaluation. (Echocardiography 2012;29:66-75)