Two-dimensional echocardiographic assessment of pulmonary artery and aortic arch anatomy in cyanotic infants

Howard P. Gutgesell, James C. Huhta, Mark H. Cohen, Larry A. Latson

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14 Scopus citations


To determine the feasibility and accuracy of noninvasive assessment of pulmonary artery and aortic arch anatomy, a prospective two-dimensional echocardiographic evaluation was performed in 20 consecutive cyanotic infants before cardiac catheterization and angiography. The echocardiographic assessment was correct with the following frequency: detection of left aortic arch in 13 of 13 infants, detection of right aortic arch in 7 of 7, identification of patent ductus arteriosus in 13 of 13 (one false positive finding), identification of a right pulmonary artery in 20 of 20, identification of a left pulmonary artery in 19 of 20, identification of the confluence of the right and left pulmonary arteries in 19 of 20 and identification of a main pulmonary artery in 14 of 16 (two false positive diagnoses by echocardiography). Echocardiographic estimates of arterial diameters were slightly smaller than those obtained by angiography. Mean vessel size (echocardiographic/angiographic diameter) was as follows: transverse aortic arch 8.6/10.6 mm, main pulmonary artery 5.7/6.3 mm, right pulmonary artery 4.1/4.2 mm and left pulmonary artery 4.2/3.9 mm. It is concluded that although two-dimensional echocardiography tends to underestimate vessel size, the qualitative assessment is adequate for planning a systemic to pulmonary artery anastomosis in selected infants with cyanotic forms of congenital heart disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1242-1246
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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