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Imaging of the Right Ventricle: Overview of Imaging Modalities for Assessing RV Volume and Function

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Practical Manual of Tricuspid Valve Diseases


During recent years, the knowledge on right ventricular (RV) characteristics has become increasingly appreciated, as RV function has established itself as an important determinant of outcome in different cardiovascular diseases. Currently, echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging are the two imaging modalities most commonly used to visualize the RV. Most structural abnormalities of the RV can be reliably described by echocardiography but due its complex geometrical shape, echocardiographic assessment of RV function is more challenging. Newer promising echocardiographic techniques such as speckle tracking echocardiography are emerging into the clinical practise but lack of validation and limited normal reference data hamper their routine clinical application. CMR is generally considered the clinical reference technique due to its unlimited imaging planes, superior image resolution, and three-dimensional volumetric rendering. The accuracy and reliability of CMR makes it the ideal tool for serial examinations of RV function. Multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) can be used for assessing RV function, especially when CMR is contra-indicated. Radionuclide techniques have become more obsolete in the current era. In the setting of RV function and size assessment, echocardiography and CMR are the technique of choice.

Sources of Funding: No sources of funding were received for this work. All authors have reported that they have no relationships to disclose.

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Correspondence to Annemien van den Bosch M.D., Ph.D. .

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van den Bosch, A., van Grootel, R. (2018). Imaging of the Right Ventricle: Overview of Imaging Modalities for Assessing RV Volume and Function. In: Soliman, O.I., ten Cate, F.J. (eds) Practical Manual of Tricuspid Valve Diseases. Springer, Cham.

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