Background: Atrial en-face reconstructions are commonly used to assess mitral valve morphology in three dimensional (3D) echocardiography but may miss important abnormalities.
Objective: To present a systematic method for the analysis of the regurgitant mitral valve using a combination of en-face and longitudinal views for better anatomical evaluation.
Methods: Detailed 3D assessment was done on 58 patients undergoing mitral valve repair. En-face and longitudinal views were compared for detection and location of primary pathology. The quality of acquisitions under general anaesthesia and sedation was also compared.
Results: Recognition of valve structure was significantly better with longitudinal reconstruction for both mitral leaflets but not for the commissures. Accurate identification of pathology was possible in 95% cases, compared with 50% for en-face reconstruction (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between imaging under sedation and anaesthesia.
Conclusion: En-face reconstructions alone are inadequate. Additional longitudinal reconstructions are necessary to ensure full inspection of valve morphology.
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