Recent advances in real-time three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography provide the automated measurement of mitral inflow and aortic stroke volume without the need to assume the geometry of the heart. The aim of this study is to explore the ability of 3D full volume color Doppler echocardiography (FVCDE) to quantify aortic regurgitation (AR). Thirty-two patients with more than a moderate degree of AR were enrolled. AR volume was measured by (1) two-dimensional-CDE, using the proximal isovelocity surface area (PISA) and (2) real-time 3D-FVCDE with (3) phase-contrast cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (PC-CMR) as the reference method. Automated AR quantification using 3D-FVCDE was feasible in 30 of the 32 patients. 2D-PISA underestimated the AR volume compared to 3D-FVCDE and PC-CMR (38.6 ± 9.9 mL by 2D-PISA; 49.5 ± 10.2 mL by 3D-FVCDE; 52.3 ± 12.6 mL by PC-CMR). The AR volume assessed by 3D-FVCDE showed better correlation and agreement with PC-CMR (r = 0.93, p < 0.001, 2SD: 9.5 mL) than did 2D-PISA (r = 0.76, p < 0.001, 2SD: 15.7 mL). When used to classify AR severity, 3D-FVCDE agreed better with PC-CMR (k = 0.94) than did 2D-PISA (k = 0.53). In patients with eccentric jets, only 30 % were correctly graded by 2D-PISA. Conversely, almost all patients with eccentric jets (86.7 %) were correctly graded by 3D-FVCDE. In patients with multiple jets, only 3 out of 10 were correctly graded by 2D-PISA, while 3D-FVCDE correctly graded 9 out of 10 of these patients. Automated quantification of AR using the 3D-FVCDE method is clinically feasible and more accurate than the current 2D-based method. AR quantification by 2D-PISA significantly misclassified AR grade in patients with eccentric or multiple jets. This study demonstrates that 3D-FVCDE is a valuable tool to accurately measure AR volume regardless of AR characteristics.
- Aortic valve regurgitation