Fifteen patients with tropical endomyocardial disease which had been proved angiographically were studied using M-mode and cross-sectional echocardiography to determine the extent to which specific features of this disease could be recognised by these non-invasive methods. Tethering of the posterior mitral valve leaflet to the ventricular wall in combination with areas of echo-dense material in the posterior left ventricular wall and associated papillary muscle appeared to be a constant diagnostic feature of this disease. Colour coding of regional echo amplitude showed high intensity echoes in a distribution corresponding closely to that of the fibrosis known to occur in this condition. Though M-mode echocardiography did not contribute diagnostic information, it was useful in defining the functional consequences of myocardial or mitral valve disease. Digitisation of records allowed a restrictive pattern of left ventricular filling to be observed. It was concluded that cross-sectional echocardiography, particularly when supplemented by colour coded amplitude processing, can make a confident non-invasive diagnosis of tropical endomyocardial disease and so could be useful in assessing its progression or response to treatment.
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