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1.  Transesophageal echocardiography measurements of aortic annulus diameter using biplane mode in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation 
Aortic stenosis (AS) is a relevant common valve disorder. Severe AS and symptoms and/or left ventricular dysfunction (EF <50%) have the indication for aortic valve replacement (AVR). Majority of the patients with AS are elderly often with co-morbidities and generally have high preoperative risk. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is offered in this group. Four different sizes of Corevalve prosthesis are available. Correct measurement of aortic size prior to TAVI is of great important to choose the right prosthesis size to avoid among others paravalvular leak or prosthesis patient mismatch.
Aim of the study is to assess the aortic annulus diameter in patients undergoing TAVI by biplane (BP) mode using transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and compare it to two-dimensional (2D) transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) and 2DTEE using three-dimensional (3D) TEE as reference method.
The study population consisted of 50 patients retrospectively (24 men and 26 women, mean age 85±8 years of age) who all had undergone echocardiography examination prior to TAVI.
The mean aortic annulus diameter was 20.4±2.2 mm with TTE, 22.3±2.5 mm with 2DTEE, 22.9±1.9 mm with BP-mode and 23.1±1.9 mm with 3DTEE. TTE underestimated the mean aortic annulus diameter in comparison to transesophageal imaging modalities (p<0.001). Using 3DTEE, 2% of patients were unsuitable for TAVI due to a too-small AoA (n=1). This figure was similar with BP (4%, n=2; p=1.00) but considerably larger with 2DTTE (36%, n=18; p < 0.001) and 2DTEE (12%, n=6; p=0.06). There was a strong correlation between BP-mode and 3DTEE for assessment of aortic annulus diameter (r-value 0.88) with small mean difference (−0.2±0.9 mm) whereas the other modalities showed larger 95% confidence interval and modest correlation (2DTTE vs. 3DTEE, –6.3 to 0.9 mm, r=0.64 and 2DTEE vs. 3DTEE, –4.8 to 3.2 mm, r=0.61).
A multi-dimensional method is preferred to assess aortic annulus diameter in TAVI patients since there is risk of underestimation using single plane. Biplane mode is the method of choice in view of speedy post-processing with no need for expensive dedicated software. Lastly, single plane methods lead to misclassification of patients as unsuitable for TAVI. This may be of major clinical importance.
PMCID: PMC3586356  PMID: 23360595
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation; Transesophageal echocardiography; Aortic annulus; Biplane-mode; Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography
2.  Sex differences in response to maximal exercise stress test in trained adolescents 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:127.
Sex comparisons between girls and boys in response to exercise in trained adolescents are missing and we investigated similarities and differences as a basis for clinical interpretation and guidance.
A total of 24 adolescent females and 27 adolescent males aged 13–19 years underwent a maximal bicycle exercise stress test with measurement of cardiovascular variables, cardiac output, lung volumes, metabolic factors/lactate concentrations and breath-by-breath monitoring of ventilation, and determination of peak VO2.
Maximum heart rate was similar in females (191 ± 9 bpm) and males (194 ± 7 bpm), cardiac index at maximum exercise was lower in females (7.0 ± 1.0 l/min/m2) than in males (8.3 ± 1.4 l/min/m2, P < 0.05). Metabolic responses and RQ at maximum exercise were similar (females: 1.04 ± 0.06 vs. males: 1.05 ± 0.05). Peak VO2 was lower in females (2.37 ± 0.34 l/min) than in males (3.38 ± 0.49 l/min, P < 0.05). When peak VO2 was normalized to leg muscle mass sex differences disappeared (females: 161 ± 21 ml/min/kg vs. males: 170 ± 23 ml/min/kg). The increase in cardiac index during exercise is the key factor responsible for the greater peak VO2 in adolescent boys compared to girls.
Differences in peak VO2 in adolescent boys and girls disappear when peak VO2 is normalized to estimated leg muscle mass and therefore provide a tool to conduct individual and intersex comparisons of fitness when evaluating adolescent athletes in aerobic sports.
PMCID: PMC3472286  PMID: 22906070
Adolescent; Sex; Body composition; Exercise stress test; ECG; Blood pressure; Peak VO2; Ventilation; Lactate
3.  Three-dimensional echocardiography using single-heartbeat modality decreases variability in measuring left ventricular volumes and function in comparison to four-beat technique in atrial fibrillation 
Three dimensional echocardiography (3DE) approaches the accuracy of cardiac magnetic resonance in measuring left ventricular (LV) volumes and ejection fraction (EF). The multibeat modality in comparison to single-beat (SB) requires breath-hold technique and regular heart rhythm which could limit the use of this technique in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) due to stitching artifact. The study aimed to investigate whether SB full volume 3DE acquisition reduces inter- and intraobserver variability in assessment of LV volumes and EF in comparison to four-beat (4B) ECG-gated full volume 3DE recording in patients with AF.
A total of 78 patients were included in this study. Fifty-five with sinus rhythm (group A) and 23 having AF (group B). 4B and SB 3DE was performed in all patients. LV volumes and EF was determined by these two modalities and inter- and intraobserver variability was analyzed.
SB modality showed significantly lower inter- and intraobserver variability in group B in comparison to 4B when measuring LV volumes and EF, except for end-systolic volume (ESV) in intraobserver analysis. There were significant differences when calculating the LV volumes (p < 0.001) and EF (p < 0.05) with SB in comparison to 4B in group B.
Single-beat three-dimensional full volume acquisition seems to be superior to four-beat ECG-gated acquisition in measuring left ventricular volumes and ejection fraction in patients having atrial fibrillation. The variability is significantly lower both for ejection fraction and left ventricular volumes.
PMCID: PMC2972240  PMID: 20920373
4.  Visually estimated ejection fraction by two dimensional and triplane echocardiography is closely correlated with quantitative ejection fraction by real-time three dimensional echocardiography 
Visual assessment of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is often used in clinical routine despite general recommendations to use quantitative biplane Simpsons (BPS) measurements. Even thou quantitative methods are well validated and from many reasons preferable, the feasibility of visual assessment (eyeballing) is superior. There is to date only sparse data comparing visual EF assessment in comparison to quantitative methods available. The aim of this study was to compare visual EF assessment by two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) and triplane echocardiography (TPE) using quantitative real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) as the reference method.
Thirty patients were enrolled in the study. Eyeballing EF was assessed using apical 4-and 2 chamber views and TP mode by two experienced readers blinded to all clinical data. The measurements were compared to quantitative RT3DE.
There were an excellent correlation between eyeballing EF by 2D and TP vs 3DE (r = 0.91 and 0.95 respectively) without any significant bias (-0.5 ± 3.7% and -0.2 ± 2.9% respectively). Intraobserver variability was 3.8% for eyeballing 2DE, 3.2% for eyeballing TP and 2.3% for quantitative 3D-EF. Interobserver variability was 7.5% for eyeballing 2D and 8.4% for eyeballing TP.
Visual estimation of LVEF both using 2D and TP by an experienced reader correlates well with quantitative EF determined by RT3DE. There is an apparent trend towards a smaller variability using TP in comparison to 2D, this was however not statistically significant.
PMCID: PMC2747837  PMID: 19706183
5.  Are measurements of systolic myocardial velocities and displacement with colour and spectral Tissue Doppler compatible? 
Tissue Doppler (TD) in pulsed mode (spectral TD) and colour TD are the two modalities today available in tissue velocity echocardiography (TVE). Previous studies have shown poor agreement between these two methods when measuring myocardial velocities and displacement. In this study, the concordance between the myocardial velocity and displacement measurements using colour TD and different spectral TD procedures was evaluated.
Left ventricular (LV) longitudinal systolic myocardial velocities and displacement during ejection period were quantified at the basal septal and lateral wall in 24 healthy individuals (4 women and 20 men, 34 ± 12 years) using spectral TD, colour TD and M-mode recordings. Mean, maximal and minimal spectral TD systolic velocities and the corresponding displacement values were obtained by measurements at the outer and inner borders of the spectral velocity signal. The results were then compared with those obtained with the two other modalities used.
Systolic myocardial velocities derived from mean spectral TD frequencies were highly concordant with corresponding colour TD measurements (mean difference 0.10 ± 0.54 cm/sec in septal and 0.09 ± 0.97 cm/sec in lateral wall). Similarly, the agreement between spectral and colour TD (mean difference 0.22 ± 0.74 mm in septal and 0.02 ± 0.86 mm in lateral wall) as well as M-mode was good when mean spectral velocities were temporally integrated and the results did not differ statistically. Conversely, displacement values from the inner or outer border of the spectral signal differed significantly from values obtained with colour TD and M-mode (p < 0.001, in both cases).
LV systolic myocardial measurements based on mean spectral TD frequencies are highly concordant with those provided by colour TD and M-mode. Hence, in order to maintain compatibility of the results, the use of this particular spectral TD procedure should be advocated in clinical praxis.
PMCID: PMC2715374  PMID: 19545452
6.  Measurements of left ventricular myocardial longitudinal systolic displacement using spectral and colour tissue Doppler: time for a reassessment? 
Echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular (LV) myocardial displacement may produce different results depending on the choice of employed modality and subjective adjustments during data acquisition and analysis.
In this study, left ventricular longitudinal systolic displacement was quantified in 57 patients (31 women and 26 men, 50 ± 16 years) using colour (colour TD) and spectral tissue Doppler (spectral TD) before and after temporal filtering (30 to 70 milliseconds in 20-millisecond steps) and changed offline gain saturation (0%, 50% and 100%), respectively. The results were compared with those obtained with anatomic M-mode.
Whereas only minor differences occurred between the results of colour TD and anatomic M-mode measurements, spectral TD significantly overestimated the results obtained with both these methods. However, the limits of agreement between the results produced by all three studied methods were not clinically acceptable in any of the cases. The spectral TD displacement values increased along with increasing offline gain saturation whereas the effect of temporal filtering on colour Doppler measurements was insignificant.
Measurements of LV myocardial longitudinal displacement employing spectral TD, colour TD or anatomic M-mode produce different results, thus discouraging interchangeable use of these modalities. Whereas the results of spectral TD measurements can be significantly altered by changing offline gain setting, the effect of temporal filtering on colour TD measurements is insignificant, a fact that increases clinical practicality of the latter method.
PMCID: PMC2661320  PMID: 19292894

Results 1-6 (6)