Three-dimentional ultrasound imaging of the atrial septum: Normal and pathologic anatomy

Marek Belohlavek, David A. Foley, Thomas C. Gerber, James F. Greenleaf, James B. Seward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study investigated the feasibility of producing three-dimensional gray scale ultrasound images of the atrial septum to demonstrate normal and pathologic anatomy. Background. Two-dimensional echocardiography is the principal technique used for imaging the atrial septum. Although the diagnostic accuracy of two-dimensional echocardiography is high, its capability for displaying complex three-dimensional relations is limited. Methods. Three-dimensional ultrasound images were reconstructed from tomographic images obtained during routine transesophageal echocardiographic examinations. Custom-made semiautomatic algorithms for image enhancement, interpolation and segmentation were used to produce volumetric gray scale images. Volume-rendered displays of the atrial septum were generated for analysis. Sequential three-dimensional images were generated through the cardiac cycle and displayed cinematographically to permit assessment of motion. Results. The three-dimensional obtained from six patients clearly demonstrated normal and pathologic anatomy of the atrial septum, including atrial septal defects, atrial septal aneurusm and aortic valve ring abscess. The images could be manipulated electronically to demonstrate spatial relations and internal structural details. Conclusions. Three-dimensional gray scale reconstruction of ultrasound images obtained by transesophageal echocardiography is feasible. These images clearly demonstrate anatomic details and spatial relations. The gray scale images may be interactively manipulated to optimize the clinician's visualization of the atrial septum and its associated pathologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1673-1678
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 15 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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