Maximal Reduction of STIC Acquisition Time for Volumetric Assessment of the Fetal Heart—Benefits and Limitations of Semiautomatic Fetal Intelligent Navigation Echocardiography (FINE) Static Mode

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(1) Objective: To scrutinize the reliability and the clinical value of routinely used fetal intelligent navigation echocardiography (FINE) static mode (5DHeartStatic™) for accelerated semiautomatic volumetric assessment of the normal fetal heart. (2) Methods: In this study, a total of 296 second and third trimester fetuses were examined by targeted ultrasound. Spatiotemporal image correlation (STIC) volumes of the fetal heart were acquired for further volumetric assessment. In addition, all fetal hearts were scanned by a fast acquisition time volume (1 s). The volumes were analyzed using the FINE software. The data were investigated regarding the number of properly reconstructed planes and cardiac axis. (3) Results: A total of 257 volumes were included for final analysis. The mean gestational age (GA) was 23.9 weeks (14.3 to 37.7 weeks). In 96.9 (standard acquisition time, FINE standard mode) and 94.2% (fast acquisition time, FINE static mode) at least seven planes were reconstructed properly (p = 0.0961, not significant). Regarding the overall depiction rate, the standard mode was able to reconstruct 96.9% of the planes properly, whereas the static mode showed 95.2% of the planes (p = 0.0098). Moreover, there was no significant difference between the automatic measurement of the cardiac axis (37.95 + 9.14 vs. 38.00 + 8.92 degrees, p = 0.8827, not significant). (4) Conclusions: Based on our results, the FINE static mode technique is a reliable method. It provides similar information of the cardiac anatomy compared to conventional STIC volumes assessed by the FINE method. The FINE static mode has the potential to minimize the influence of motion artifacts during volume acquisition and might therefore be helpful concerning volumetric cardiac assessment in daily routine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4062
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 07.2022

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 205-21 Gynaecology and Obstetrics

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