Role of parasternal data acquisition during contrast enhanced real-time three-dimensional echocardiography
Background: Recent technical developments have resulted in high-resolution real time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE). The purpose of this study was to investigate the beneficial role of parasternal-acquired images in addition to apical-acquired images during contrast stress RT3DE. Methods: The study comprised 30 consecutive patients (52 ± 11 years, 18 males) with chest pain referred for routine stress testing. The contrast RT3DE images were acquired from the apical and parasternal window with a Sonos 7500 echo system attached to a X4 matrix array transducer. Results: From the apical and parasternal acquisition, 464 segments (91%) and 267 segments (52%) could be analyzed, respectively (P < 0.001). From the apical window, more basal segments were not analyzable (22 of 180, 12% vs. 24 of 330, 7%; P = 0.06). From the parasternal window, more apical segments were not analyzable (117 of 150, 78% vs. 126 of 360, 35%; P < 0.01). The mean image quality index of the 464 analyzable segments from the apical-acquired images was 2.43. Fourteen of 180 basal segments (8%), 12 of 180 midventricular segments (7%) and 2 of 150 apical segment (1%) were only available with parasternal data acquisition. In addition to these 28 segments, 79 segments (15%) already visualized from the apical window improved in quality. The overall mean image quality index, now assessed from 492 (96%) of all segments, using both the apical and parasternal acquired data, improved to 2.74 (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Addition of parasternal to apical acquisition of contrast RT3DE data can decrease the number of nonvisualized segments and improve mean image quality.