Images from standard two-dimensional echocardiographs do not lend themselves to the study of regional left ventricular wall movement because of poor definition of endocardium. An alternative method, based on a wide-angle phased array sector scanner has, therefore, been devised. Once the appropriate region of the heart has been identified, the scan rate is increased, and an array of 41 M-mode scans is produced, resulting in improved frequency response and endocardial definition. Each scan is digitised separately, and since their spatial orientation is known, the left ventricular image can be reconstituted by computer, and isometric or contour displays produced. Preliminary results, based on 40 patients, are presented showing examples of left ventricular wall movement. Regional abnormalities of amplitude or timing can be displayed with results similar to those of angiography, while disturbances of septal motion or wall thickness can be observed in greater detail than with other methods.
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