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3-D ultrasound

The iE33 is used in research studies that:

  1. improve our understanding of cardiac disease development; and
  2. develop imaging methods to better diagnose coronary artery disease.

With the latest state-of-the-art Vision 2008 upgrade, we use the iE33 to assess the health of heart muscles by monitoring, in real-time, the replenishment of micro-bubble contrast after ultrasonic disruption. The high spatial and temporal resolutions of the data allow us to determine the distribution of infarcts under controlled circumstances accurately. With our complementary electrophysiological study results, we hope to get a better understanding of the acute development of ventricular tachycardia by viable myocardium, which can lead to sudden heart failure.

Using the fast 3-D imaging capabilities of the iE33, we are also studying the relationship between whole-heart cardiac motion and left-ventricular hemodynamics. The results allow us to identify quiescent cardiac imaging windows accurately, which will improve our ability to visualize coronary arteries with MRI or CT. The following is an example of a four-chamber view acquired in 3-D with the iE33.

In the near future, we are looking to use live 3-D transesophageal echocardiography to guide ablation therapy for cardiac arrhythmias.

About iE33

The iE33 echocardiography system is a high-resolution system for cardiac imaging and analysis that can be used for 2-D, colour imaging, PW Doppler, CW Doppler, M-mode, colour M-mode and Tissue Doppler Imaging (TDI). It can also perform duplex, triplex and live xPlane imaging. Ultrasound contrast agent can be used in the iE33 echocardiography system and for assessing the thickening of the myocardium and myocardial perfusion.

The system’s 3-D capabilities are live 3-D echo, live 3-D zoom, advanced XRES, triggered and non-triggered full volume imaging and triggered 3-D colour imaging. The new live 3-D transesophageal echo (TEE) is also available in the iE33 echocardiography system.

In live 3-D, we are able to provide immediate and improved perspective on the heart’s size and shape and interrelationships between valves, chambers and vessels. We can quickly and easily visualize complex cardiac anatomy. 3-D images can be rotated and cropped to view the heart from all angles, which allow the physician to make a more accurate diagnosis. Live 3-D echo reveals cardiac abnormalities and shows the depth of the abnormality that is giving surgeons an advantage in pre- and post-surgical planning. Since data is volume-rendered and contains information that can be viewed from any angle and accessed at any time, 3-D largely reduces interobserver/interinstitution variability in diagnosis and eliminates the need for repeat examinations.

QLAB analysis software provides specialized tools for both on-cart and off-cart analysis of 2-D and 3-D data sets. It is valuable for analyzing LV volume, mass and function as well as more advanced functional parameters such as systolic mechanical dyssynchrony, which is used in the assessment of candidates for cardiac resynchronization therapy.