ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY-A JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR ULTRASOUND AND ALLIED TECHNIQUES, vol.26, no.10, pp.1236-1249, 2009 (SCI-Expanded)
We studied 31 patients with prosthetic valves (PVs) using two-dimensional and three-dimensional transthorathic echocardiography (2DTTE and 3DTTE, respectively) in order to determine whether 3DTTE provides an incremental value on top of 2DTTE in the evaluation of these patients. With 3DTTE both leaflets of the St. Jude mechanical PV can be visualized simultaneously, thereby increasing the diagnostic confidence in excluding valvular abnormalities and overcoming the well-known limitations of 2DTTE in the examination of PVs, which heavily relies on Doppler. Three-dimensional transthorathic echocardiography provides a more comprehensive evaluation of PV regurgitation than 2DTTE with its ability to more precisely quantify PV regurgitation, in determining the mechanism causing regurgitation, and in localizing the regurgitant defect. Furthermore, 3DTTE is superior in identifying, quantifying, and localizing PV thrombi and vegetations, in addition to the unique feature of providing a look inside mass lesions by serial sectioning. These preliminary results suggest the superiority of 3DTTE over 2DTTE in the evaluation of PVs and that it provides incremental knowledge to the echocardiographer. (ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY, Volume 26, November 2009).