OBJECTIVE: To evaluate how often multiplane transoesophageal echocardiography yields new or complementary data in mitral prostheses in comparison with the exclusive use of biplane imaging. PATIENTS: 73 consecutive patients with mitral prostheses who underwent multiplane transoesophageal echocardiograpy between January 1993 and December 1994. METHODS: Biplane images (transverse and longitudinal planes) and multiplane images (transverse, longitudinal, and intermediate planes) were recorded on two separate videotapes. The data provided by multiplane transoesophageal echocardiography were evaluated as (a) new data (abnormalities missed by biplane imaging); (b) complementary data (better delineating lesions already visualised by biplane imaging); or (c) redundant data (data already provided by biplane imaging). RESULTS: Multiplane transoesophageal echocardiography revealed new abnormalities in seven patients (9.5%) (thrombi in three and paraprosthetic leaks in the remaining four) and complementary data in nine (12.3%). In patients with paraprosthetic regurgitation, the possibility of continuously visualising the sewing ring by means of sequential angulations allowed the circumferential extension of the leak to be measured. In seven patients with paravalvar regurgitation who underwent surgery, the extension of the leak as measured by the multiplane approach closely corresponded with the surgical data. CONCLUSIONS: In comparison with the exclusive use of biplane imaging, the multiplane approach added new or complementary data in a significant proportion of patients with mitral prostheses. The ability to obtain the sequential adjacent planes allowed a more reliable appraisal of the extension of the leak and other abnormalities.
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