Ultrasound proves equal to MRI for assessing heart valve in cardiomyopathy

June 18, 2007

Real-time 3D echocardiography can measure mitral annular size and function as accurately as MRI, according to Egyptian researchers. They studied patients with both hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Real-time 3D echocardiography can measure mitral annular size and function as accurately as MRI, according to Egyptian researchers. They studied patients with both hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Dr. Ashraf M. Anwar and colleagues in the cardiology department at Al-Husein University Hospital of Al-Azhar University in Cairo published their research in the June 5 Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography.

They studied 30 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 20 patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, and 30 control subjects. The researchers used real-time 3D ultrasound to measure end-systolic and end-diastolic mitral annular area, mitral annular diameter, mitral annular fractional area change, and mitral annular fractional shortening. For a subset of 50 patients, they also used MRI to measure mitral annular area and mitral annular diameter.

Ultrasound measurements of the mitral annular area, fractional shortening, and fractional area change were significantly larger in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients than in controls.

In dilated cardiomyopathy patients, both end-systolic and end-diastolic mitral annular area measurements were higher than in controls and in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients, while mitral anular fractional shortening and fractional area change were lower in dilated cardiomyopathy patients than in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and controls.

The researchers also found mitral annular fractional area change correlated with left ventricular function in control subjects but not in cardiomyopathy patients.

In all cases, no significant difference between the MRI measurements and the 3D ultrasound measurements was found. The researchers concluded that echocardiography was just as accurate as MRI for assessing mitral annular measurements in cardiomyopathy patients.