Objectives - This study tested the accuracy of new 4-dimensional fetal echocardiography to evaluate left ventricular (LV) mass in an experimental model of fetal myocardial hypertrophy. Methods - Ten fresh rabbit hearts were studied. Fetal myocardial hypertrophy was simulated by fixing different amounts of myocardial tissue to the LV epicardium. A small latex balloon was mounted on vinyl tubing and fixed within each LV cavity. The proximal end of the tube was attached to a pulsatile pump apparatus. The pump was calibrated to deliver stroke volumes of 2 and 4 mL at stroke rates of 60 and 120 beats per minute (bpm). Four-dimensional data were acquired and analyzed with quantification software. Reference values for LV mass were determined by the displacement method. Results - Echo-derived measurements of LV mass showed good correlations with reference values at all stroke rates and stroke volumes: at 2 mL and 60 bpm, r = 0.95; at 2 mL and 120 bpm, r = 0.95; at 4 mL and 60 bpm, r = 0.93; and at 4 mL and 120 bpm, r = 0.95 (P<.01 for all values). There was also excellent interobserver (r = 0.98; mean difference of -0.32 g; -4.4% of the mean) and intraobserver (r = 0.98; mean difference of -0.28 g; -3.8% of the mean) agreement. Conclusions - In this controlled in vitro study, high-resolution 4-dimensional echocardiography was shown to accurately assess LV mass and have the potential to evaluate fetal myocardial hypertrophy.
- Cardiac imaging
- Congenital heart disease
- Fetal echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology