Three-Dimensional Echocardiography: State of the Art, Clinical Applications, Future Directions

Steven Marks*

*President, MedCom Consultants, Inc, Potomac MD 

Address correspondence to: Steven Marks, MedCom Consultants Inc, 1311 Fallsmead Way, Potomac MD 20854. Email:

Disclosure statement: Steven Marks reports having no financial or advisory relationship with any corporate, medical, or political organization doing work related to this paper or other business activity at MedCom Consultants, Inc. 


The development of three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) has changed the practice of contemporary cardiovascular medicine. The technology overcomes many of the limitations of two-dimensional echocardiography, in particular its need to make geometric assumptions and inability to clearly define anatomic borders. Real-time and multibeat 3DE can detect with high precision the pathophysiologic processes undergirding various cardiac diseases. Using transthoracic and transesophageal imaging, 3DE can measure left-ventricular volumes, ejection fraction, and mass; delineate and analyze myocardial abnormalities and regional wall motion; evaluate valve structure and function; and preview and track catheter-based and surgical procedures while assessing postoperative interventions. Current limitations of 3DE are now being addressed, and new applications in novel clinical settings, including the possibility of multimodal fusion imaging, simultaneous imaging of both cardiac chambers, and the printing of 3D patient-specific digital models of target anatomic structures, are being explored.

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