The role of real time three-dimensional transoesophageal echocardiography in acquired mitral valve disease

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Real time (RT) three-dimensional (3D) imaging is one of the most significant developments of the last decade and is now being used with increasing frequency in echocardiography and interventional cardiology laboratories. Improvements in transducer technologies and the development of a matrix array transducer were the most important achievements that lead to the new era of real time 3D transoesophageal echocardiography (TEE). RT 3D TEE is ideal for assessing the mitral valve (MV) because of its high spatial resolution altering in improved MV anatomic detail. This imaging modality provides images of high quality which is of a great clinical value inmaking diagnosis of MV disease and a valuable tool for surgeons and interventional cardiologists in planning and guiding interventional procedures. This review is intended to provide data about normal MV anatomy and clinical usefulness of RT 3D TEE in defining acquired MV pathology.

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