J Cardiovasc Ultrasound.  2012 Mar;20(1):1-22. 10.4250/jcu.2012.20.1.1.

Current Clinical Applications of Transthoracic Three-Dimensional Echocardiography

  • 1Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy. lpbadano@gmail.com


The advent of three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) has significantly improved the impact of non-invasive imaging on our understanding and management of cardiac diseases in clinical practice. Transthoracic 3DE enables an easier, more accurate and reproducible interpretation of the complex cardiac anatomy, overcoming the intrinsic limitations of conventional echocardiography. The availability of unprecedented views of cardiac structures from any perspective in the beating heart provides valuable clinical information and new levels of confidence in diagnosing heart disease. One major advantage of the third dimension is the improvement in the accuracy and reproducibility of chamber volume measurement by eliminating geometric assumptions and errors caused by foreshortened views. Another benefit of 3DE is the realistic en face views of heart valves, enabling a better appreciation of the severity and mechanisms of valve diseases in a unique, noninvasive manner. The purpose of this review is to provide readers with an update on the current clinical applications of transthoracic 3DE, emphasizing the incremental benefits of 3DE over conventional two-dimensional echocardiography.


Three-dimensional echocardiography; Left ventricle; Right ventricle; Mitral valve; Aortic valve; Tricuspid valve; Left atrium

MeSH Terms

Aortic Valve
Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional
Heart Atria
Heart Diseases
Heart Valves
Heart Ventricles
Mitral Valve
Nitro Compounds
Tricuspid Valve
Nitro Compounds
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