March 2007

3D Echocardiography: A Review of the Current Status and Future Directions

3D Echocardiography: A Review of the Current Status and Future Directions

Ultrasound technology has improved markedly in the past 10 to 15 years, prompting echocardiographers to extend its use in studying cardiac structure and function. New ultrasound equipment and techniques offer superior image quality, greater accuracy, and expanding capabilities. As a result, more and improved imaging modalities are available for evaluating cardiac anatomy, ventricular function, blood flow velocity, and valvular diseases. Threedimensional (3D) echocardiography offers the ability to improve and expand the diagnostic capabilities of cardiac ultrasound. However, as with any emerging technology, the enthusiasm to embrace a new technique must be tempered by a critical appraisal of the evidence supporting its use. It is essential to assess the limitations as well as the unique capabilities it provides. Cardiac imaging should be safe, accurate, versatile, comprehensive, and cost-effective, while providing important clinical information. Criteria for appropriate utilization should be based on current evidence and updated as new information becomes available. To justify the use of a new 3D modality, its unique contribution to clinical practice must be critically analyzed. In this article we review the status of 3D echocardiography, examine the evidence for its use in various clinical situations, and propose guidelines for appropriate application of this technique based on available evidence.


  • Hung, Judy W.
  • Lang, Roberto M.


  • Adams, David B.
  • Flachskampf, Frank A.
  • Hung, Judy W.
  • Lang, Roberto M.
  • McCulloch, Marti L.
  • Ryan, Thomas
  • Shernan, Stanton K.
  • Thomas, James D.
  • Vannan, Mani A.

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