Designed & Managed by
Joseph Vettukattil


Co-Director & Division Chief

Congenital Heart Center

Helen DeVos Children's Hospital 100 Michigan NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, USA

Innovations in structural & Congenital Heart Disease

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Atrial Flow Regulator


This website aims to develop an international portal for learning the complex and dynamic morphology of the congenitally malformed heart through discussion and interaction. The main focus is on the clinical appliaction of advanced cardiac imaging in the assessment of cardiac morphology and function.

Three-dimensional echocardiography: (3DE, also referred to as 4DE with the fourth dimension being time) is a unique method of visualizing the true and dynamic morphology of the heart. The technique is not just a way of displaying moving images of the heart in 3D rather 3DE incorporates a core of biometric data set frozen in time. This enables the cardiologist to bring the frozen heart to life and to dissect it, time and time again enabling comparison between pre and postoperative anatomy and learn from mistakes. It is also possible to share the data electronically between professionals. With the availability of cloud-based data sharing sites like Dropbox or Google Drive etc., it is now possible to receive and report on a large number of patients from different countries and institutions.

MPR: The most important aspect of 3DE is the potential to slice the dynamic cardiac structures in infinite planes through the three dimensions similar to a cardiac pathologist dissecting the heart to reveal underlying pathology. This method of analysing the anatomy is termed Multiplanar Reformating or Multiplane Review (MPR). I improvised this technique by moving the planes of dissection, in anatomically appropriate planes throughout the cardiac cycle to accurately define the underlying pathology from which the 3D morphology is reconstructed. This technique is most useful in assessing complex congenital heart defects. It is also helpful to understand the anatomy when resolution of the images are poor and a visually useful 3D image cannot be reconstructed. It marks a transitional phase between 2D and 3D imaging within the restrictions of current image resolution.

Take some time to explore the website. Individual heart defects are discussed under heart defects. For further details of the techinques, please also refer to the recent publication in Heart. Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments, questions or would like to send any images for assessment and/or discussion.

Image of the Month

Perforated Mitral Valve due to Endocarditis

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