To evaluate the usefulness and accuracy of calculating left ventricular volume and ejection fraction from cross sectional echocardiograms in patients with tetralogy of Fallot, 28 patients were studied within 24 hours of cineangiography. Indexed end diastolic and end systolic volumes were calculated from three different paired echocardiographic projections: (a) the two and four chamber views from the apical impulse window, (b) the parasternal long axis view and the subxiphoid long axis view, and (c) the four chamber view and short axis precordial views at mitral and papillary muscle level. Volumes were calculated in five different ways using three different algorithms (area length, Simpson's rule, the Parisi formula). The results were compared with data obtained from biplane angiograms using Graham's formula. The correlation varied with the algorithm used: the best results were obtained with the area length method using the parasternal long axis view and the sub-xiphoid view. The correlation was less accurate for the ejection fraction. The second best correlation was obtained with the area length method using the two and four chamber apical views; the other correlations were less satisfactory. Thus these results show that left ventricular volumes can be accurately assessed by cross sectional echocardiography in children with tetralogy of Fallot and that the ejection fraction can be satisfactorily estimated. The results depend on careful gain setting and precise demonstration of the left ventricular endocardium, which is best seen in the sub-xiphoid and long axis views.
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