Observational Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Clin Cases. Aug 6, 2019; 7(15): 2003-2012
Published online Aug 6, 2019. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v7.i15.2003
Evaluation of right ventricular volume and systolic function in normal fetuses using intelligent spatiotemporal image correlation
Jia-Xing Sun, Ai-Lu Cai, Li-Mei Xie
Jia-Xing Sun, Ai-Lu Cai, Li-Mei Xie, Ultrasound Department, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, Liaoning Province, China
Li-Mei Xie, Ultrasound Department, Roicare Hospital and Clinics, Shenyang 110004, Liaoning Province, China
Author contributions: Sun JX and Xie LM contributed equally to this work; Xie LM designed the research; Sun JX, Cai AL, Xie LM performed research; Sun JX analyzed the data and wrote the paper.
Institutional review board statement: The study was reviewed and approved by Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University.
Informed consent statement: Patients were not required to give informed consent to the study because the analysis used anonymous data.
Conflict-of-interest statement: There are no conflicts of interest to report.
Data sharing statement: No additional data are available.
STROBE statement: The manuscript was written and revised according to the STROBE Statement.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Li-Mei Xie, MD, PhD, Professor, Ultrasound Department, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical University/Roicare Hospital and Clinics, No. 36 Sanhao Street, Shenyang 110004, Liaoning Province, China. xielm72@163.com
Telephone: +86-24-9661574194 Fax: +86-24-9661574194
Received: March 27, 2019
Peer-review started: March 28, 2019
First decision: May 31, 2019
Revised: June 12, 2019
Accepted: July 3, 2019
Article in press: July 4, 2019
Published online: August 6, 2019
Research background

Heart defects are the most common congenital malformations in fetuses. Fetal cardiac structure and function abnormalities lead to changes in ventricular volume. As ventricular volume is an important index for evaluating fetal cardiovascular development, an effective and reliable method for measuring fetal ventricular volume and cardiac function is necessary for accurate ultrasonic diagnosis and effective clinical treatment. The new intelligent spatiotemporal image correlation (iSTIC) technology acquires high-resolution volumetric images. Numerous studies have focused on fetal heart function which have not been widely accepted. The iSTIC technique was used to measure right ventricular volume in 123 normal fetuses, and to evaluate right ventricular systolic function to provide a new method for more accurate and convenient evaluation of fetal heart function.

Research motivation

The iSTIC technique was used to provide a new method for more accurate and convenient evaluation of fetal heart function.

Research objectives

One hundred twenty-three healthy gravidas with singleton gestations who visited our hospital for prenatal ultrasonography between October 2014 and September 2015 were included in the study.

Research methods

The women were asked to lie flat, and a fetal echo program was begun with transabdominal scanning using an X6-1 probe. Using a 3D/4D iSTIC technology model for a 4-chamber view of the fetal heart, the 3D/4D sampling frame location was adjusted and the sampling range assured 3D/4D volume data acquisition and the sampling frame included the entire fetal heart. The fetal heart rate was measured and recorded after completion of data acquisition.

Research results

The changes in normal fetal right ventricular end-diastolic volume, right ventricular end-systolic volume, right stroke volume, and right cardiac output with gestational age showed significant linear correlations. Right ejection fraction did not change as gestational age increased, was relatively constant throughout the entire pregnancy, and was not significantly correlated with gestational age.

Research conclusions

iSTIC technology can be used for the quantitative measurement of fetal right ventricular volume and the evaluation of right ventricular systolic function.

Research perspectives

iSTIC can generate real-time 3D images, only requires 2 s, and is the best method now. The direction of the future research is to improve the scanning time.