A Sector Scanner for Real Time Two-Dimensional Echocardiography
During the past several years one-dimensional pulse-echo ultrasound techniques have proven extremely useful in cardiac diagnosis. A one-dimensional system, however, only visualizes structures lying along a single straight line. The spatial relationships of the various cardiac structures are therefore not so easily defined as with two-dimensional systems which display the heart by constructing a plane image composed of many straight lines. We have developed a sector scanning system for obtaining two-dimensional echocardiograms in real time using ultrasonic pulse-echo techniques. Images are produced by angling rapidly a single transducer through a 30-degree sector from a fixed spot (between ribs) on the patient's chest. Thirty complete sectors (or frames) are produced per second. The use of a large diameter transducer ensures that signal strength is good and cardiac structures, including endocardium, can be visualized. Other advantages include high transducer sensitivity, real time imaging and easy visualization of various regions of the heart. Experience with more than 100 patients indicates that diagnostic quality two-dimensional echocardiograms can be readily obtained in essentially the same patients from whom one-dimensional echocardiograms are recorded and can usually be performed in less time.
- Received January 18, 1974.
- Accepted February 26, 1974.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.