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Feasibility of 3D4D echocardiography for the detection of colour-coded flow in the left anterior descending artery

Abstract

The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of the visualisation of 3D4D coronary flow in detectable segments of coronary arteries. Regarding the feasibility of this new approach, the hypothesis was proposed that the flow signals of the course of detectable coronary arteries can be better visualised by 3D4D echocardiography than by the conventional 2D approach. A total of 30 consecutive patients with sinus rhythm, in whom the distal left anterior descending artery (LAD) was visualised by 2D colour-coded Doppler echocardiography, were selected for 3D4D scanning procedures. All measurements were performed using a Vivid 7 or E9. All segments visualised by 2D colour-coded Doppler echocardiography were also examined by 3D4D echocardiography. Using defined settings, the width of the colour-coded flow signal differs significantly between 2D- and 3D4D echocardiography. The length of larger segments of the visualised colour-coded flow signal of the coronary flow could be better detected with 2D imaging. Small segments of coronary artery flow (<11-mm), however, could be significantly better visualised by 3D4D echocardiography. The main advantage of 3D4D echocardiography of the coronary artery flow is the visualisation of the proportions of vessels with complex morphology. 3D4D echocardiography of LAD flow by colour-coded Doppler echocardiography raises new possibilities for the direct flow visualisation of the detectable segments of coronaries. With its sufficiently high spatial and temporal resolution, this new method has the potential to be implemented in clinical scenarios. The possible application to the quantification of stenoses by the flow visualisation has to be evaluated in further studies.

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Correspondence to Stephan Stoebe.

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Stoebe, S., Pfeiffer, D. & Hagendorff, A. Feasibility of 3D4D echocardiography for the detection of colour-coded flow in the left anterior descending artery. Echo Res Pract 1, 23–30 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1530/ERP-14-0024

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1530/ERP-14-0024

Keywords

  • transthoracic echocardiography
  • 3D4D echocardiography
  • coronary flow imaging
  • left anterior descending artery