Abstract 1872: New Fusion Technique Significantly Improves Image Quality and Completeness of Datasets in Real Time 3 Dimensional Echocardiography
Introduction: Real time 3 dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) still presents a challenge for full volume acquisition in many patients because of incomplete datasets due to inadequate sector width and/or limited acoustic windows.
Hypothesis: We assessed the hypothesis that fusion of standard datasets from different transducer positions improves the completeness and image quality of RT3DE.
Methods: We studied 14 patients (mean age 47.0±22 yrs, 9 men, 5 women) referred for echocardiographic assessment of LV function. Standard full volume RT3DE was performed with an iE33 scanner with X3 probe (Philips Medical Systems, Andover, USA). We fused at least 2 standard RT3DE datasets from different transducer positions using a new, developed on site technique. All standard and fused datasets were processed with research software (Research Arena, TomTec, Germany). Readings were done by an experienced echocardiographer, who graded endocardial border definition and wall thickening: good quality: grade 2; intermediate: 1; poor or out of sector: 0. We studied separately segments in the short axis view (PSAX) and in apical views, yielding 32 segments per patient and total 896 cardiac segments for standard and fused datasets.
Results: Table 1⇓ summarizes the segmental quality assessments using the 2 techniques, and the number of segments per patient (mean±SD). Quality gains from grade 0 to 1 and 1 to 2 in the fused images were similarly distributed among PSAX and apical segments.
Conclusions: The new fusion technique improved analysis of segmentation of the heart with RT3DE when compared with standard datasets. It increased the number of segments available for assessment and upgraded their image quality.