Physics and Technical Principles of Three-Dimensional Echocardiography

  • Denisa Muraru
  • Luigi P. BadanoEmail author


The backbone of the three-dimensional echocardiography (3DE) technology is the transducer. Understanding the physics of 3DE and the way the matrix transducer works is pivotal for successful acquisition of good quality 3DE data sets. Different 3DE acquisition modalities are available (real-time/live, multi-beat, zoom, full-volume, color) to adapt to the different clinical needs. Once acquired, 3DE data sets should be postprocessed by cropping, rotating and slicing them in order to obtain the images that are needed to meet the clinical or research needs. Different ways of displaying the data sets are also available: volume rendering (to show anatomy), wireframe or solid surface rendering (for quantitative analysis) and multislice (for analysis of regional function and anatomy and 2D quantitative analysis). Moreover, new display modalities (such as stereoscopic vision, 3D printing and holography) are entering the clinical arena to provide an actual 3D appreciation and manipulation of images.


Three-dimensional echocardiography Physics Probe Transducer Spatial resolution Temporal resolution Parallel beamforming Multibeat acquisition Data set acquisition Real-time Full-volume Cropping Rotating Slicing Volume rendering Surface rendering Multislice Stereoscopic vision 3D printing Holography 

Supplementary material

Video 2.1a

Biplane acquisition. Simultaneous acquisition of parasternal long-axis and short-axis view at the level of the aortic valve. The reference plane is the yellow one (parasternal long-axis) and the position of the orthogonal plane (white plane) can be adjusted using the track ball (AVI 33660 kb)

Video 2.1b

Triplane acquisition. Simultaneous acquisition of three apical views: four chamber (yellow plane, the reference plane), two-chamber (white plane) and long-axis (green plane). By default the three apical views are acquired at 0°, 60° and 120°, respectively. The angle of rotation can be adjusted by the operator during acquisition (AVI 19248 kb)

Video 2.3

Final volume-rendering display of the mitral valve from the atrial perspective. Mitral valve atrial perspective (right panel) after having cropped and rotated the data set. Left panels show the reference plane (left upper plane) and the elevation plane (left lower plane) with the position of the cropping plane (broken orange line) and the point of view (yellow arrow) (AVI 5947 kb)

Video 2.4a

LV full volume. Full volume display of a 3DE data set of the left ventricle (AVI 18681 kb)

Video 2.4b

5 slices. Five-slice display of a 3DE data set of the left ventricle. The reference plane (left upper quadrant) and the elevation plane (left lower panel) are shown along to three transversal cut planes: apical (right upper panel) taken at the level of the white broken line shown at the apex of the left ventricle in the longitudinal planePlanelongitudinals, and the basal (right lower panel) taken at the level of the white broken line shown at the apex of the left ventricle in the longitudinal planePlanelongitudinals. The intermediate transversal cut plane is equidistant from the apical and the basal one (AVI 20295 kb)

Video 2.4c

7 slice. Seven sliceData processingslicing display a 3DE data set of the left ventricle. The three longitudinal views are positioned (by default) a 60° (two-chamber view, right upper panel) and 120° (longitudinal view, left lower panel) from the reference view (four-chamber view, left upper panel). The position of the apical and basal transversal panes is shown by the corresponding white broken lines depicted on the longitudinal views. The two intermediate transversal cut planes are equidistant from the basal and apical views (AVI 27051 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Milano-Bicocca, and Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, San Luca HospitalMilanoItaly

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