Comparison of echocardiographic and necropsy measurements of ventricular wall thicknesses in patients with and without disproportionate septal thickening.
In several patients with asymmetric septal hypertrophy (ASH) diagnosed by echocardiography (septal-free wall thickness ratios greater than or equal to 1.3), we have discovered marked discrepancies between the echocardiographic and necropsy measurements of wall thicknesses that led to uncertainty regarding the actual cardiac diagnosis. To resolve these apparent incongruities, the echocardiograms and hearts of 17 patients with cardiac disease were studied. Six of nine patients with abnormal septal-free wall ratios greater than or equal to 1.3 during life had septal-free wall ratios that were not diagnostic of disproportionate septal thickening at necropsy. Such discrepancies may be explained as follows: 1) echocardiographic measurements during life were made in diastole (as per convention), but measurements at necropsy were made in hearts that appeared to have been in the systolic phase of the cardiac cycle; 2) the left ventricular free wall thickens considerably more than the ventricular septum in systole, as determined by echocardiography. This latter phenomenon resulted in septal-free wall ratios in systole that were consistently smaller than those in diastole. Furthermore, septal-free wall ratios obtained at necropsy corresponded most closely to those obtained by echocardiography in systole.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association