How Automated Techniques Ease Functional Assessment of the Fetal Heart: Applicability of MPI+™ for Direct Quantification of the Modified Myocardial Performance Index

2 Citations (Scopus)


(1) Objectives: In utero functional cardiac assessments using echocardiography have become increasingly important. The myocardial performance index (MPI, Tei index) is currently used to evaluate fetal cardiac anatomy, hemodynamics and function. An ultrasound examination is highly examiner-dependent, and training is of enormous significance in terms of proper application and subsequent interpretation. Future experts will progressively be guided by applications of artificial intelligence, on whose algorithms prenatal diagnostics will rely on increasingly. The objective of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of whether less experienced operators might benefit from an automated tool of MPI quantification in the clinical routine. (2) Methods: In this study, a total of 85 unselected, normal, singleton, second- and third-trimester fetuses with normofrequent heart rates were examined by a targeted ultrasound. The modified right ventricular MPI (RV-Mod-MPI) was measured, both by a beginner and an expert. A calculation was performed semiautomatically using a Samsung Hera W10 ultrasound system (MPI+™, Samsung Healthcare, Gangwon-do, South Korea) by taking separate recordings of the right ventricle’s in- and outflow using a conventional pulsed-wave Doppler. The measured RV-Mod-MPI values were assigned to gestational age. The data were compared between the beginner and the expert using a Bland-Altman plot to test the agreement between both operators, and the intraclass correlation was calculated. (3) Results: The mean maternal age was 32 years (19 to 42 years), and the mean maternal pre-pregnancy body mass index was 24.85 kg/m2 (ranging from 17.11 to 44.08 kg/m2). The mean gestational age was 24.44 weeks (ranging from 19.29 to 36.43 weeks). The averaged RV-Mod-MPI value of the beginner was 0.513 ± 0.09, and that of the expert was 0.501 ± 0.08. Between the beginner and the expert, the measured RV-Mod-MPI values indicated a similar distribution. The statistical analysis showed a Bland-Altman bias of 0.01136 (95% limits of agreement from −0.1674 to 0.1902). The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.624 (95% confidence interval from 0.423 to 0.755). (4) Conclusions: For experts as well as for beginners, the RV-Mod-MPI is an excellent diagnostic tool for the assessment of fetal cardiac function. It is a time-saving procedure, offers an intuitive user interface and is easy to learn. There is no additional effort required to measure the RV-Mod-MPI. In times of reduced resources, such assisted systems of fast value acquisition represent clear added value. The establishment of the automated measurement of the RV-Mod-MPI in clinical routine should be the next level in cardiac function assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1705
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 05.2023

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Biomedical Engineering

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-21 Gynaecology and Obstetrics

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