Added value of three-/four-dimensional ultrasound in offline analysis and diagnosis of congenital heart disease

S. Yagel, S. M. Cohen, D. Rosenak, B. Messing, M. Lipschuetz, O. Shen, D. V. Valsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Objective Many published studies have shown that application of three-dimensional (3D) and real-time 3D (4D) ultrasound modalities can improve certain aspects of fetal echocardiography, but have left open the question of whether these modalities improved the accuracy of prenatal detection of anatomical fetal cardiovascular malformations. We aimed to determine whether 3D/4D ultrasound improved diagnostic ability in cases of congenital heart disease (CHD). Methods Women who attended for early- or midtrimester targeted organ scans had complete fetal echocardiography according to our five-planes protocol, as well as examination of the ductus venosus and longitudinal aortic arch planes, performed with 2D ultrasound combined with 2D color Doppler, spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC), STIC with color Doppler, and STIC with B-flow. Ultrasound data of cases of CHD were stored in a dedicated archive. Stored cases were anonymized and the list order was randomized. Stored 2D ultrasound cineloops and 4D ultrasound volumes were reviewed separately according to a standardized table of 23 specified structures on five required planes of visualization: the upper abdomen, four-chamber view, five-chamber view, pulmonary artery bifurcation view, and three vessels and trachea plane. Separate diagnoses were recorded and finally compared. Diagnoses were confirmed by pathological examination or neonatal echocardiography. Results During the study period, 13 101 examinations were performed; 181 diagnoses of CHD were made. In 12 of these, 3D/4D ultrasound added to the accuracy of our diagnosis: one right aortic arch with anomalous branching; one transposition of the great arteries with pulmonary atresia diagnosed with tomographic ultrasound imaging (TUI); one segmental interrupted aortic arch diagnosed with TUI; one right ventricle aneurysm diagnosed with B-flow; two agenesis of ductus venosus to the coronary sinus diagnosed by multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) and B-flow; two total anomalous pulmonary venous connection diagnosed with MPR; and four ventricular septal defect (VSD) diagnosed with the aid of virtual planes. There were 12 missed diagnoses and no false-positive results. Conclusions 3D/4D ultrasound modalities may have advantages in some aspects of fetal cardiovascular evaluation, however, overall 3D/4D ultrasound modalities had added value in only about 6% of cases of fetal anatomical cardiovascular anomalies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-437
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D/4D ultrasound
  • STIC
  • accuracy
  • congenital heart defects
  • fetal heart


Dive into the research topics of 'Added value of three-/four-dimensional ultrasound in offline analysis and diagnosis of congenital heart disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this