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Logo of heartHeartVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Heart. 2006 February; 92(2): 213–219.
Published online 2005 May 12. doi:  10.1136/hrt.2005.060889
PMCID: PMC1860785

Improved quantification of left ventricular mass based on endocardial and epicardial surface detection with real time three dimensional echocardiography



To develop a technique for volumetric analysis of real time three dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) data aimed at quantifying left ventricular (LV) mass and to validate the technique against magnetic resonance (MR) assumed as the reference standard.


RT3DE, which has recently become widely available, provides dynamic pyramidal data structures that encompass the entire heart and allows four dimensional assessment of cardiac anatomy and function. However, analysis techniques for the quantification of LV mass from RT3DE data are fundamentally two dimensional, rely on geometric modelling, and do not fully exploit the volumetric information contained in RT3DE datasets. Twenty one patients underwent two dimensional echocardiography (2DE), RT3DE, and cardiac MR. LV mass was measured from 2DE and MR images by conventional techniques. RT3DE data were analysed to semiautomatically detect endocardial and epicardial LV surfaces by the level set approach. From the detected surfaces, LV mass was computed directly in the three dimensional space as voxel counts.


RT3DE measurement was feasible in 19 of 21 patients and resulted in higher correlation with MR (r =  0.96) than did 2DE (r =  0.79). RT3DE measurements also had a significantly smaller bias (−2.1 g) and tighter limits of agreement (2SD  =  ±23 g) with MR than did the 2DE values (bias (2SD) −34.9 (50) g). Additionally, interobserver variability of RT3DE (12.5%) was significantly lower than that of 2DE (24.1%).


Direct three dimensional model independent LV mass measurement from RT3DE images is feasible in the clinical setting and provides fast and accurate assessment of LV mass, superior to the two dimensional analysis techniques.

Keywords: real time three dimensional echocardiography, semiautomated surface detection, left ventricular mass, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

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