This pilot study was performed to evaluate whether virtual reality is applicable for three-dimensional echocardiography and if three-dimensional echocardiographic 'holograms' have the potential to become a clinically useful tool.
Three-dimensional echocardiographic data sets from 2 normal subjects and from 4 patients with a mitral valve pathological condition were included in the study. The three-dimensional data sets were acquired with the Philips Sonos 7500 echo-system and transferred to the BARCO (Barco N.V., Kortrijk, Belgium) I-space. Ten independent observers assessed the 6 three-dimensional data sets with and without mitral valve pathology. After 10 minutes' instruction in the I-Space, all of the observers could use the virtual pointer that is necessary to create cut planes in the hologram.
The 10 independent observers correctly assessed the normal and pathological mitral valve in the holograms (analysis time approximately 10 minutes).
this report shows that dynamic holographic imaging of three-dimensional echocardiographic data is feasible. However, the applicability and use-fullness of this technology in clinical practice is still limited.