A Simple Explanation
4D Echocardiogram is basically 3D Echocardiogram when the picture is moving.
Echocardiography is the diagnostic imaging technique that produces pictures of the heart using ultrasound technique. This uses standard Two-Dimensional, Three-dimensional and the Doppler ultrasound to create images of the heart.
It can also provide useful information about the heart, like the size and shape of the heart, pumping capacity and the location and extent of any tissue damage.
Echocardiogram is the sonogram or visual image of the heart formed by an Echocardiograph. This estimates heart function, like calculation of the cardiac output, ejection fraction, and diastolic function (how well the heart relaxes), heart valves and pressure gradient.
3D Echo Cardiogram
Three-dimensional echocardiography as the name suggests is the 3D visual image of the heart, especially the heart valves. It uses a matrix array ultrasound probe and processing system, which enables detailed anatomical assessment of cardiac pathology.
The 3D Echocardiography technique slice the virtual heart in infinite planes in an anatomically appropriate manner, reconstructing the three-dimensional images of anatomic structures making it unique for better understanding of the heart.
4D Echo Cardiogram
Four-Dimensional Echocardiogram adds the perspective of motion to a 3D viewing of the heart’s ultrasound. This can be used to view both an adult’s as well as a fetal’s (baby in its mother’s womb) heart.
4D echocardiogram seems to be tailor-made for fetal echo. Despite the fact that the fetal’s heart beats at a high rate, it allows the doctor to change and select alternative views that is not possible in a 2D echo. For instance, some fetus might have complex congenital disorders, which would be difficult to view in a 2D echo.
A great advantage of 4D echocardiogram is that these images can be improved and accessed offline.
Core 4D Clinical Areas
4D Echocardiography has become the foremost method to analyze heart diseases in a fetal echo. Its capability to provide clear views and show real time anatomical data from any angle has made it a dispensable technology to assess fetal heart disease.
Congenital Heart Disease
The research that takes place to better 4D electrocardiography has enabled it to work on the tracking algorithm of Atrial Septal defect (ASD) rim motion during repair. ASD is a congenital heart defect in which blood flows between the atria (upper chambers) of the heart.
4D Echo can be used to calculate strain and other forms of left ventricle output. The 4D echo strain uses a patented technique to track acoustic markers over time in naturally moving myocardial tissue. This technique will display the motion of tissue over time. There is promising research of 4D echo in myocardial strain being done.
Some researchers are exploring the prospect of using 4D echo in Stress Echocardiography, to determine how well your heart and blood vessels are working. The advantage of using 4D echo is the fast acquisition and ability to due post processing.
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